The North American aluminum industry saw impressive growth in 2014, with a 5 percent year-over-year increase in demand. This according to preliminary data released in the Aluminum Association’s monthly “Situation Report.” The estimated 25.5 billion pounds of aluminum shipped by North American producers and fabricators last year is the largest shipment total for the industry since 2006.
Association Vice President for Business Information & Statistics Ryan Olsen noted, "We’re seeing steady demand growth across many of our key markets. Orders of aluminum mill products are also on the rise, a leading indicator of continued growth for the industry into 2015."
Among the key findings in the latest Situation report, which is available for purchase here in the United States and Canada:
The industry shipped 25.5 billion pounds of aluminum through the end of 2014, a 5.0 percent increase in demand over 2013.
Apparent consumption of aluminum (demand less exports) in domestic markets totaled 22 billion pounds through the end of 2014, a 7.3 percent increase over 2013.
New of aluminum mill products rose 3.9 percent in 2014 and are up 3.0 percent in January year-over-year.
Secondary recovery – or aluminum recycling – is up 4.1 percent year-to-date through November 2014. (U.S. only)
Primary aluminum production declined 7.1 percent in 2014 and was down 4.0 percent year-over-year in January.
Imports of aluminum (excluding U.S./Canada cross-border trade) rose 20.2 percent in 2014 to 5.5 billion pounds while exports declined 6.8 percent to 7.4 billion pounds.
Olsen added, "The growth in North American demand for aluminum in 2014 was all the more impressive given the harsh winter weather the region experienced at the start of the year, and the significant impact it had on operations. Demand grew just eight-tenths of one percent year-over-year during the first four months (January – April), compared to a year-over-year increase of 7.1 percent over the final eight months.”
According to this latest data, demand for aluminum has grown by nearly 40 percent since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009 and the industry continues to expand. Over the past two years, Aluminum Association member companies have announced domestic plant expansions and planned investment totaling more than $2.3 billion. These investments are intended to capture and meet anticipated demand growth for aluminum in the automotive sector as automakers strive to make lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The investments announced to date could increase industry auto sheet capacity by more than 2 billion pounds over the next decade.
The Aluminum Association produces more than two dozen statistical reports covering virtually every aspect of the metal’s production and use. Members of the Aluminum Association receive free access to these reports as a benefit of membership. Reports can also be purchased on an a la carte basis by visiting www.aluminum.org/statistics. Information on Association membership is available at www.aluminum.org/join.