O'Neal Steel Market Informer June 2022

Domestic Aluminum 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 a 5.3% demand growth for the aluminum industry in North America (U.S. and Canada) through the first quarter of 2022. This follows an estimated 8.2% demand growth through the end of 2021 (revised upward from the 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 North America (the 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.

North American Demand for Aluminum May 2022

Source: Aluminum Association, 05.24.2022

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