The Aluminum Association, Arlington, Virginia, has released preliminary estimates as part of its monthly report Aluminum status report which shows that demand growth for the aluminum industry in North America (US and Canada) was estimated at 7.7% in 2021. This exceeded the estimated growth in US gross domestic product of 5.7% in the United States for the same year. Aluminum demand, which includes shipments from domestic producers plus imports, fell 11.4% between 2019 and 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the 26.3 billion pounds of demand estimated in 2021 is still lower than the 27.5 billion pounds of demand seen in 2019.
The report also revealed that all major categories of semi-fabricated or machined products saw an increase in demand growth year-on-year in 2021, led by extruded products (15.9%) and sheets and plates (14.4%). In total, demand for factory products increased by 13.5% year-on-year.
Aluminum exports (excluding scrap metal) to foreign countries decreased by 20.4% in 2021, while aluminum scrap exports increased by 16% compared to the 2020 level.
According to the report, net new orders for factory products have remained above the benchmark level of 100 throughout 2021, which the association says is the first year since the index reset in 2013.
Aluminum and aluminum products imported into North America (U.S. and Canada) increased 21.3% year-over-year in 2021 amid increased demand, but are still nearly lower 25% to 2017 volumes, the report says.
“Taken together, these latest data show an industry in solid recovery mode,” said Charles Johnson, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Despite ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical issues and supply chain challenges, the U.S. aluminum industry is showing signs of robust growth in a number of markets.”
The Aluminum Association notes that after a lull in capital spending in 2020, U.S. aluminum producers have announcement more than $800 million in domestic investments over the past six months. This contributes to more than $4 billion invested by the industry over the past decade to capture the growth in demand for sustainable and recyclable products in the automotive, packaging, building and construction sectors. construction and other sectors. Significant trade enforcement efforts in targeted markets have also led to industry investment in recent years, adds the association.
the Aluminum status report is one of more than two dozen ongoing industry statistical reports compiled exclusively by the Aluminum Association through surveys of aluminum producers, fabricators and recyclers. Subscribers to Aluminum Association Statistical Reports have access to presentation-ready interactive charts and graphs that can be manipulated directly on the association’s website at www.aluminum.org. To learn more about the Aluminum Association’s statistical offerings or to subscribe, click here.