North American aluminium demand up 4.8% in 2022

European Aluminium

As part of its monthly Aluminium Situation statistical report, the Aluminum Association released preliminary estimates showing 4.8% year-over-year demand growth for the aluminium industry in North America (US and Canada) in 2022.

This outpaced overall estimated 2.7% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the US in 2022. While estimates show year-over-year growth, the report indicates a slowdown in demand for the second half of 2022.

“Despite some headwinds and softer demand in the second half of the year, this latest data shows an industry built to last,” said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association.

“Geopolitical disruptions, supply chain issues and inflationary pressures could continue to pose some challenges in 2023. However, with historic investment in US aluminium manufacturing last year and continued market growth opportunities, the mid-and long-term trendlines for aluminium in America remain incredibly strong.”

Among key takeaways from the report:

  • Aluminium demand in the US and Canada (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totalled an estimated 27.5 billion pounds in 2022, advancing 4.8% over 2021. Overall demand in 2022 approached record levels seen in 2018 and 2019.
  • Compared to December 2021, aluminium demand contracted by 3.7% in December 2022 following a similar contraction in November. 
  • Most major semi-fabricated – or “mill” – product categories saw increased year-over-year demand growth, led by sheet and plate products (6.1%) and foil (5.1%). In total, mill product demand grew 4.1% year-over-year in 2022.
  • Aluminium exports (excluding scrap) to foreign countries increased by 3.8% from the year-ago level

Last year, the US aluminium industry announced more investment in domestic manufacturing than in the past several decades combined. Firms announced billions to build new aluminium rolling and recycling capacity, including greenfield plants slated to come online in the coming years.

It has been more than 40 years since a similar, new US-based mill was built.

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