Iceland’s estimated export income for 2008 suggests that the export of aluminum will exceed fish as the largest export of the country.
The estimated export value of aluminum for 2008 is 165 billion ISK (2.1 billion USD). That is twice the income of last year. Exports in the fishing industry are estimated to total around 130 billion ISK (1.6 billionUSD) so the aluminum export will be 45 percent of Iceland’s export, with sea products sinking to 36 percent. Morgunbladid reports.
In 2002, the aluminum export was 19 percent of total exports and sea products 63 percent. The country’s largest aluminum smelter, Fjardarál in Reydarfjördur, became operational in 2002.
The efficiency of Icelandic aluminum smelters increased by 70 percent from 2007 to 2008. Both the smelters in Grundartangi and Straumsvík increased their smelting capacity and Fjardarál smelter, which had been under construction, was ready to smelt at its maximum capacity. In 2012 when the smelter in Helguvík is scheduled to be operational, the total aluminum production is supposed to be over one million tons of aluminum.
Since it is suggested that imports will decline in 2008, a continuing increase in aluminum export will have a positive impact on Iceland’s trade deficit in 2008.