The aluminium sector, from the mining of bauxite to the production of the final products, is one of the most dynamic Greek industries. In 1999 it contributed more than 1.5% of GDP to the Greek economy and employed 40,000 people directly or indirectly, while aluminium exports accounted for approximately 5.5% of overall exports of the country. On the basis of data from the Greek Aluminium Association, the turnover of the aluminium sector in 1999 is estimated at approximately 660 billion drachmas, up by 6% in relation to the previous year.
Processed aluminium products can be divided into lamination and extrusion products, cables and foundry products depending on how they are processed.
The term extrusion means the process for working aluminium from which elongated products arise such as pipes or rods with differing cross sections, so - called profiles. The production of extrusion products accounted for 43% of overall production figures of initial processed aluminium in 1999. Lamination means the process of working aluminium from which flat or level products are produced. The lamination sector accounted for 51% of overall production of primary processing products in 1999.
The extrusion sector consists of large-scale production units which are mainly engaged in the production of aluminium profiles. The items produced by the specific enterprises are then used as raw material by secondary processing units which transform them into final products.
Domestic production of aluminium extrusion products has been rising steadily during the period 1991 - 1999, with the exception of the 1993/1992 period. The annual average rate of growth in production during the period 1994 - 1999 was approximately 14.5%. Greek production stood at 110,000 tons in 1999 from 99,000 tons in 1998, an increase of approximately 11%. The corresponding increase for the period 1998/1997 was in the order of 21%. Exports accounted for between 35% and 38% of overall production figures over the last two-year period.
The largest part of extrusion products are destined for use in construction, accounting for 81% (89,300 tons) of overall production figures for 1999. Household equipment absorbed 7% (8,000 tons) of overall production while smaller quantities were used in mechanical and electrical applications (3,100 tons) and transport (2,500 tons).
Future trends in the aluminium extrusion sector will depend, to a significant degree, on demand for final products and in particular for aluminium frames. Moreover, the increase in building activity in view of the 2004 Olympic Games is expected to promote demand for the products being examined to higher levels.
Based on prevailing conditions and trends in the market, the size of the domestic market in aluminium extrusion products is expected to reach the level of 78,500 tons approximately this year, up some 5% compared to 1999. In the year 2001, domestic ostensible consumption is expected to increase further to 82,500 tons (an increase of 5% in relation to 2000) while in 2002 an increase in the size of the extrusion products market by 5% - 6% compared to the previous year is expected.
The main aluminium lamination product initial processing industry is ELVAL HELLENIC ALUMINIUM INDUSTRY S.A. while ALOUMAN S.A. is also involved in the sector producing aluminium disks and final products. It should be noted that the aluminium lamination secondary product processing sector consists of a range of enterprises while a small number of companies control a large share of the market.
Domestic production of lamination products followed an upward trend during the period 1993 - 1999 with an annual rate of growth of approximately 9.5%. Production figures for the aforementioned products stood at 130,000 tons in 1999 compared to 125,500 tons in 1988, up some 4%. Exports account for the largest part of production during the period under examination, while over the last two years, the degree of export performance for the sector ranged from 72% to 74%.
Packaging accounted for 76% (98,500 tons) of overall production of the sector during 1999 while lamination products intended for construction activity accounted for 17% (22,300 tons) of the total. The production shares of other activity are at quite lower levels.
Domestic ostensible consumption of lamination products fluctuated during the period 1993 - 1999. Over the last two years there has been an upward trend with production standing at 49,800 tons in 1999 compared to 48,258 tons during the previous year (an increase of 3%). Imports accounted for 32% in 1999 compared to 28.5% in 1998.
The largest part of the market (76%) in 1999 was absorbed by products intended for packaging (37,700 tons) while products for construction uses had a 17% market share (8,600 tons) during the same year.
The development of the domestic market in aluminium lamination products is related to the trends in demand for secondary production products and in particular to packaging items as well as to a possible expansion of the use of aluminium in new markets/products.
The size of the domestic market in lamination products is expected to be in the order of 51,500 tons in 2000, up some 3.4% in relation to 1999. During the year 2001, domestic ostensible consumption is expected to stand at 53,000 tons up by 3% compared to 2000, while during the period 2002/2001, a further increase in the size of the market in the order of 3% - 4% (in terms of quantity) is expected.