Minor & Light Metals / Magnesium Metal: Global Industry Markets and Outlook, 11th edition 2013


  • 1. Summary
  • 2. The occurrence and properties of magnesium
  • 3. Processes for producing magnesium
  • 4. Magnesium metal capacity and production
  • 5. Production and supply of magnesium, its alloys and products by country and company
  • 6. Consumption of magnesium
  • 7. Use of magnesium in die castings
  • 8. Use of magnesium in aluminium alloys
  • 9. Use of magnesium in production of titanium sponge
  • 10. Use of magnesium in the desulphurisation of steel
  • 11. Use of magnesium in minor applications
  • 12. International trade
  • 13. Marketing and prices of magnesium

Magnesium Metal: Global Industry Markets and Outlook, 11th edition 2013

Consumption of primary magnesium metal contracted by 7% in 2008 and a further 15% in 2009, to just under 690kt.  The market has since recovered, however, exceeding 2007 levels in 2011 and registering a new peak in use in 2012.  Secondary magnesium use adds further to consumption, with total magnesium consumption exceeding 1Mt in 2007 and 1.1Mt in 2012.  Magnesium is used primarily in die-cast parts and as an alloy in aluminium, and together these two markets accounted for two-thirds of total consumption in 2012.  

The largest end-use for die-cast magnesium parts is the transport industry. While rising automotive output in some regions has boosted consumption since the 2008/09 downturn, the market has been somewhat held back by lower European vehicle shipments.  Nevertheless, pressured by emissions reduction targets, growth in use of magnesium in transport applications continues to out-pace traditional materials such as steel and the die-casting market is forecast to grow by 6-7%py through to 2017.  In aluminium alloys, magnesium’s use is predominately in packaging applications, with this market continuing to show strong gains based on economic development in emerging markets.

China continues to dominate primary magnesium metal production, with output exceeding 730kt in 2012, equivalent to over 75% of total supply.  Within China, however, there has been a shift in production.  Abundant and cheap gas as a by-product of coke production has seen magnesium producers turn their attention to Shaanxi in the search for greater returns. This has left some traditional magnesium producing provinces struggling to compete, and the Chinese magnesium industry languishing with an operating rate barely exceeding 50%.  There has also been consolidation in China, with eight Chinese producers now in the top-10 of global producers.

Despite several plant closures in the run-up to the 2008/09 downturn, especially in Canada, production in the USA, Russia and Israel has since expanded, albeit largely to feed demand from rising titanium metal output.  Secondary magnesium production is more evenly spread globally, with the USA still the number one recycler.  New primary magnesium plants have opened in Malaysia and South Korea since 2010, with Iran likely to follow suit in 2013.  The anticipated start-up of Qinghai Salt Lake Industry’s 100ktpy electrolytic plant in China in 2013 could yet further alter the landscape in China in the short-term.


World trend in the production of magnesium

Get accurate answers from independent experts

  • What structural changes have helped shape the industry in China since 2008?
  • Will consumption continue to outpace global economic growth?
  • How are magnesium and titanium metal production related?
  • What is the outlook for magnesium use in automotive applications?
  • Which ten companies control >50% of primary capacity?
  • Where could potential non-Chinese supply be sourced in the short-term?

Magnesium Metal: Global Industry Markets and Outlook, 11th edition 2013

  • Published 19/05/2013
  • 388 pages, 123 tables and 90 figures.
  • ISBN 978 0 86214 593 4

Complete report price:

  • GBP 3800
  • EUR 4800
  • USD 6100

plus postage/packing.

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