In the European Union, the aluminium industry represents an important and strategic sector, during the last decades, it has experienced several structural and technological changes. Nowadays the EU aluminium market includes very few firms in the upstream, some firms in the midstream and lots of firms in the downstream part.
Referring to the upstream, due to high energy and labour costs, most of the firms have de-localised their primary aluminium production activity to cheaper inputs countries such as Middle East , Brazil, China, Russia, India. This development has defined a different market structure where fully vertically integrated firms are very rare in Europe. As a result the market appears quite fragmented and independently owned, only partially integrated (e.g. foundries and casters) or linked to clients with specific contractual connections especially in case of asset specificity.
From the very beginning, METEF has aimed at representing and giving visibility to the technological excellence of the non-integrated downstream industries – from foundries to extruders, from rolling mills to heat treaters – a multitude of European firms whose interests are very often ignored.