Produce a research poster of A2 size on a commodity - Essay Example

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Aluminum commodity is a chemical element, which is categorized in the boron group. The ductile metal is known for its nonmagnetic, silvery white nature (Kaushish, 2010). Aluminum remains the third most profuse element after silicon…
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International Business Environment Commodity (Aluminum) The type of commodity in this case is aluminum. Aluminum commodity is a chemical element, which is categorized in the boron group. The ductile metal is known for its nonmagnetic, silvery white nature (Kaushish, 2010). Aluminum remains the third most profuse element after silicon and oxygen.
Figure 1. Aluminum
Uses of the Commodity
The strength and low-density nature of aluminum makes it ideal for construction of lightweight vehicles, aircraft and ladders. Duralumin, which is an alloy of aluminum, is mostly used due to its improved properties. In most cases, duralumin is preferred to pure aluminum. Its corrosion resistance nature and ability to be shaped easily makes it a perfect material for roofing materials and drink cans (Kaushish, 2010). On the other hand, its low-density nature makes it effective for making window frames and building greenhouses. Aluminum is also a good heat conductor. This aspect makes it perfect for making cookware, cookers and boilers. Additionally, aluminum is mostly used as overhead power cables due to its good conduction of electricity (International Conference on Steel and Aluminium Structures & Lau, 2011). Lastly, the high reflectivity nature makes aluminum ideal for making reflectors, mirrors and firefighting.
Figure 2. Aluminum lightweight vehicle
Figure 3. Drink cans made of aluminum
Figure 4. Cookware, cookers and boilers made from aluminum
Sources of Aluminum
There are two sources of aluminum namely bauxite and recycling. In this case, bauxite remains the most common material that is mostly used in producing virgin aluminum (Prashad, 2006). Common bauxite-producing nations include Guinea, Australia, Brazil, China and Jamaica. Australia tends to produce at least 2.5 times of bauxite than other nations. Recycling also remains an important aluminum source.
Influences on Supply/Demand
Alumina prices tend to influence its demand and supply. Additionally, the electricity prices influences its demand and supply (Kaushish, 2010). China remains the biggest aluminum importers in the market. Aluminum supply and demand in China depends on consumer preferences in the product.
Price Elasticity for the Commodity
Currently, aluminum prices are higher again. However, aluminum supply dynamics tend to be mixed. High trends mean high price elasticity.
Factors Affecting Price
Common factors affecting aluminum price elasticity include number of substitute’s products, switching costs between products, strength of the product, time allowed after change in prices and consumer’s income percentage that is allocated to the product expenditure (Schmitz, Domagala, & Haag, 2006).
Substitutes/Alternatives Products
An alternative for aluminum is the magnesium alloys. In this case, magnesium has the potential of meeting its current demands for reliable and lighter construction. Magnesium is a perfect alternative since they have comparable specific stiffness (Prashad, 2006). They also have higher energy consumption and specific strengths, which enable them to perform aluminum roles. Additionally, magnesium alloys are important especially for applications where materials tend to be subjected to dynamic loads or variable loads (International Conference on Steel and Aluminum Structures & Lau, 2011).
Long Term Prospects for Supply & Demand
Long terms prospects of aluminum remains unpredictable. However, the current rising trends in supplies and demands demonstrate that its demand will rise significantly in future.
Environmental Impact
The process of transforming bauxite into aluminum tends to use intensive energy. In most cases, the process requires copious electricity amounts, resources and water to produce. The caustic red sludge that is common during the process tends to be deposited on the environment thus affecting the environment. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions during the process also affect the environment. Common gas emissions include sodium fluoride, per fluorocarbons, polycyclic and sulfur dioxide.
International Conference on Steel and Aluminium Structures, & Lau, H. H. (2011). Advances in steel and aluminium stuctures. Singapore: Research Pub.
Kaushish, J. P. (2010). Manufacturing processes. New Delhi: PHI Private Limited.
Mazzolani, F. M. (2003). Aluminium structural design. Wien: Springer.
Prashad, H. (2006). Solving tribology problems in rotating machines. Cambridge, England: Woodhead.
Schmitz, C., Domagala, J., & Haag, P. (2006). Handbook of aluminium recycling. Essen: Vulkan. Read More
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