North American aluminium demand increases


As part of its monthly Aluminum Situation report, the Aluminum Association has released preliminary estimates showing 6.6% year-to-date demand growth for the aluminium industry in North America (US and Canada) through the first half of 2022.

This is on top of a near 8% year-over-year increase estimated in 2021 and built on demand levels estimated during the first quarter. Since 2021, Aluminum Association member companies have announced more than $3.7 billion in domestic manufacturing operations – including new, US-based greenfield facilities for the first time in decades. Other firms have announced additional aluminium investments in the U.S. in recent months totalling more than $4 billion.

“We are seeing strong demand and truly unprecedented levels of investment in the U.S. aluminium industry today,” said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “America is one of the best places in the world to make aluminium and our industry is putting its money where its mouth is to ensure a strong, vibrant domestic industry for years to come.”

Among key takeaways from the report:

  • Aluminium demand in the US and Canada (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totaled an estimated 14.1 billion pounds through June, advancing 6.6% over the same period in 2021.
  • Nearly all major semi-fabricated – or “mill” – product categories saw increased year-over-year demand growth in the first half, led by sheet and plate products (12.5%) and electrical wire and cable (9.2%). In total, mill product demand grew 9.1% year-over-year through June 2022.
  • Aluminium exports (excluding scrap) to foreign countries declined 18% from the year-ago level.
  • Imported aluminium and aluminium products into North America (US and Canada) have grown 35.7% year-to-date through the second quarter, reaching 4.7 billion pounds. While growing, the year-to-date import levels remain below the level of imports seen over the same period as recently as 2019.

A closer look at the demand for sheet and plate products (utilising the association’s quarterly “Sheet & Plate End Use Report”) reveals how growth in the containers and packaging segment has helped drive some of the increase in overall aluminium demand. Domestic producer shipments in this segment were up 13.1% year-to-date through June 2022 as companies and consumers increasingly look to aluminium for sustainable packaging solutions. Aluminium cans are the most sustainable beverage package on virtually every measure. They have a higher recycling rate and contain dramatically more recycled content than competing packaging types. 

The Aluminum Situation report is one of more than two-dozen ongoing industry statistical reports developed exclusively by the Aluminum Association through surveys of aluminium producers, fabricators and recyclers. Subscribers to the Aluminum Association statistical reports have access to an online portal with data users can manipulate directly to produce interactive, presentation-ready charts and graphs.

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