Europe hit by catastrophic shortage of magnesium supply from China

Europe’s industry associations European Aluminium, Eurofer, ACEA, Eurometaux, industriAll, ECCA, ESTAL, IMA, EUWA, EuroAlliages and CLEPA have today issued an urgent call for action against the imminent risk of Europe-wide production shutdowns as a consequence of a critical shortage in the supply of magnesium from China.

Magnesium is a key alloying material and widely used in the metals-producing industry. Without urgent action by the European Union, this issue, if not resolved, threatens thousands of businesses across Europe, their entire supply chains and the millions of jobs that rely on them.

Due to the Chinese Government’s effort to curb domestic power consumption, supply of magnesium originating from China has either been halted or reduced drastically since September 2021, resulting in an international supply crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

With the European Union almost totally dependent on China (at 95%) for its magnesium supply needs, the European aluminium, iron and steel producing and using industries together with their raw materials suppliers are particularly impacted, with far-reaching ramifications on entire European Union value chains, including key end-use sectors such as automotive, construction and packaging.

“The magnesium shortage could further disrupt the already stressed aluminium supply chain and pose, together with other current input shortages, a compounded risk for our industry during a crucial time of transformation. The automotive suppliers rely on aluminium alloys, which are essential raw materials used throughout the car, and the lower weight also makes it an essential element in our efforts to lower vehicle emissions and increase driving range. We therefore call upon policymakers to help secure magnesium supplies in both the short and long-term.”, said Secretary General Sigrid de Vries.

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