Aluminium demand continues to grow in US

The Aluminium Association has released preliminary estimates showing 5.3% demand growth for the aluminium industry in North America (U.S. and Canada) in the first quarter of 2022.

This follows estimated 8.2% demand growth through the end of 2021 (revised upward from previously reported 7.7% demand growth) and comes during a period of significant investment by U.S. aluminium producers, fabricators and recyclers. 

“The picture for the U.S. aluminum industry remains very strong,” said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminium Association. “Economic recovery, demand for recyclable and sustainable materials and robust trade enforcement are all making America a very attractive place to make aluminium – as evidenced by the fastest pace of investment for the industry in decades.” 

Some key takeaways from the report:

  • Aluminium demand in the U.S. and Canada (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totaled an estimated 7 million pounds in the first quarter compared to 6.6 million in the first quarter of 2021.
  • All major semi-fabricated, or “mill” product categories, saw increased year-over-year demand growth in the first quarter, led by sheet and plate products (15.2%) and extruded products (7.3%). In total, mill product demand grew 11.0% year-over-year through the first quarter.
  • Aluminium exports (excluding scrap) to foreign countries declined 29.8% in the quarter.
  • At 116.88, the Association’s Index of Net New Orders of Aluminium Mill Products (baseline index of 100) has shown an increase of 1.8% year-to-date. 
  • Imported aluminium and aluminium products into the North America (U.S. and Canada) grew by 37.4% year-over-year in the quarter after growing 21.3% in 2021. While growing, these import levels remain below record volumes last seen in 2017.

Over the past year, the aluminium industry has collectively committed or invested nearly $3.5 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the past year – and more than $6.5 billion over the past decade. 

This included a $2.5 billion investment by member company Novelis to build a greenfield low-carbon aluminium rolling mill and recycling facility in Bay Minette, AL, which is the single largest domestic aluminium investment in decades.

Meanwhile, the Aluminium Association recently released a report highlighting how targeted trade enforcement in the common alloy sheet market has helped support significant investment. U.S. common alloy sheet producers – whose product is included in everything from road signs to buildings to boats – has faced significant challenges in recent years thanks to unfair trade.

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