Domestic Aluminum Demand Continues to Grow; Up 5.3% in First Quarter
Domestic Market Remains Strong as U.S. Industry Investment Hits Highest Level in Decades and 2021 Demand Growth Revised Upward
The Aluminum Association released preliminary estimates as part of its monthly Aluminum Situation report showing 5.3% demand growth for the aluminum industry in North America (U.S. and Canada) through 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. aluminum producers, fabricators and recyclers.
“The picture for the U.S. aluminum industry remains very strong,” said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Economic recovery, demand for recyclable and sustainable materials and robust trade enforcement are all making America a very attractive place to make aluminum – as evidenced by the fastest pace of investment for the industry in decades.”
Among key takeaways from the report:
- Aluminum demand in the United States and Canada (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totaled an estimated 7.0 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.
- Aluminum exports (excluding scrap) to foreign countries declined 29.8% in the quarter.
- At 116.88, the Association’s Index of Net New Orders of Aluminum Mill Products (baseline index of 100) has shown an increase of 1.8% year-to-date.
- Imported aluminum and aluminum products into the North America (US 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 aluminum 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 aluminum rolling mill and recycling facility in Bay Minette, AL, which is the single largest domestic aluminum investment in decades.
Meanwhile, the Aluminum 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.
The Aluminum Situation report is one of more than two-dozen ongoing industry statistical reports developed exclusively by the Aluminum Association through surveys of aluminum 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.
To learn more about the Aluminum Association’s statistical offerings or to subscribe, visit www.aluminum.org/statistics.