Nov. 23, 2016

Aluminum Stats Reflect Chinese Overcapacity

The North American aluminum industry grew in 2015 for the sixth straight year, reports the Aluminum Association, Arlington, Va., in its annual Statistical Review. Aluminum demand increased by 0.8 percent in 2015 to 25.5 billion pounds.

Among other findings in the association’s annual report: primary production decreased 2.2 percent from 2014 to 9.8 billion pounds; imports of aluminum and aluminum products increased 9.8 percent over 2014 to their highest level since 2005; and total U.S. imports (ingot, semi-fabricated products and scrap) increased 4.0 percent to 12.2 billion pounds.

Growth in U.S. imports was largely a result of an increase in aluminum originating from China, with shipments up 30.7 percent over 2014 levels. A net exporter of aluminum, Canada exported a total of 7.6 billion pounds of aluminum, a slight decrease from 2014.

“While we are pleased to see that demand for aluminum is continuing to trend upward in North America, we share the concerns of many other aluminum-producing regions about the dramatic spike in metal imports illustrated by the report. We believe this import growth is a direct consequence of persistent aluminum overcapacity in China,” says Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association.

Among end markets, shipments to the transportation sector grew 9.7 percent to 9.2 billion pounds, representing more than 35 percent of the total market. Building and construction shipments increased 1.9 percent to 3.1 billion pounds, while container and packaging shipments increased by the same percentage to 4.7 billion pounds.

The industry shipped more than 25.7 billion pounds of aluminum for the first time since before the recession, with total demand up more than 37.4 percent since 2009. In response to the growth, the North American aluminum industry has committed to more than $2.6 billion in domestic capital investment.

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Monday, December 11, 2017