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Aluminium demand in North America stronger than expected

Aluminium demand in North America (US and Canada) grew 6.6 % in the first half of 2022.

Aluminium demand in North America (US and Canada) grew 6.6 % in the first half of 2022.

This is on top of a near 8 % year-over-year increase estimated in 2021 and built on demand levels estimated during the first quarter, reports the Aluminium Association (AA). Since 2021, AA’s member companies have announced more than USD3.7bn in domestic manufacturing operations – including new US-based greenfield facilities for the first time in decades. Other firms have announced additional aluminium investments in the US in recent months totalling more than USD4bn.

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“We are seeing strong demand and truly unprecedented levels of investment in the US aluminium industry,” says Charles Johnson, AA’s president and CEO. “America is one of the best places in the world to make aluminium, and our industry is putting its money where its mouth is to ensure a strong, vibrant domestic industry for years to come.”

Half-year highlights

Aluminium demand in the US and Canada (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totalled an estimated 14.1bn pounds through June, advancing 6.6 % over the same period in 2021.

Nearly all major semi-fabricated product categories saw increased year-over-year demand growth in the first half, led by sheet and plate products (12.5 %) and electrical wire and cable (9.2 %). In total, mill product demand grew 9.1 % year-over-year through June 2022.

Aluminium exports (excluding scrap) to foreign countries declined 18 % from the year-ago level.

Imported aluminium and aluminium products into North America have grown 35.7 % year-to-date through the second quarter, reaching 4.7bn pounds. While growing, the year-to-date import levels remain below the level of imports seen over the same period as recently as 2019.

Aluminium packaging propelled growth in demand

A closer look at the demand for sheet and plate products reveals how growth in the containers and packaging segment has helped drive some of the increase in overall aluminium demand. Domestic producer shipments in this segment were up 13.1 % year-to-date through June 2022, as companies and consumers increasingly look to aluminium for sustainable packaging solutions. Aluminium cans are the most sustainable beverage package on virtually every measure. They have a higher recycling rate and contain dramatically more recycled content than competing packaging types.

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