Near 8% growth for aluminium industry in North America


The Aluminum Association has released preliminary estimates as part of its monthly Aluminum Situation report showing an estimated 7.7% demand growth for the aluminum industry in North America (U.S. and Canada) in 2021.

This outpaced estimated 5.7% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the United States in 2021. Aluminuim demand recovered strongly in 2021 following a demand decline of 11.4% between 2019 and 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among key takeaways from the report:

  • Aluminium demand in the United States and Canada (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totaled an estimated 26.3 million pounds in 2021, approaching levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • All major semi-fabricated — or “mill” – product categories saw increased year-over-year demand growth in 2021, led by extruded products (15.9%) and sheet and plate (14.4%). In total, mill product demand grew 13.5% year-over-year.
  • Aluminium exports (excluding scrap) to foreign countries declined 20.4% in 2021.
  • Aluminium scrap exports increased 16.0 percent over the 2020 level.  
  • Net new orders for mill products remained above the baseline of 100 throughout 2021, the first year that has occurred since the Association re-set the Index back in 2013. 
  • Imported aluminium and aluminum products into the North America (US and Canada) grew by 21.3% year-over-year in 2021 amidst higher demand but are still nearly 25% below 2017 volumes.

“Taken together, this latest data shows an industry in strong recovery mode,” said Charles Johnson, president, and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Despite the lingering challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical issues and supply chain challenges, the US aluminium industry shows signs of robust growth in a number of markets.”

Following a lull in capital expenditure in 2020, the US aluminium industry has announced more than $800 million in domestic investment over the past 6 months. This contributes to more than $4 billion invested by the industry over the past decade to capture demand growth for sustainable, recyclable products in the automotive, packaging, building and construction and other sectors.

Strong trade enforcement efforts in targeted markets has also led to industry investment over the past several years.

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