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Domestic Aluminum Extrusion Consumption Shows Growth in 2015

The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) and the Aluminum Association released industry estimates of aluminum extrusion shipments in North America by major market for 2015. Among key findings, domestic consumption of aluminum extrusions in the U.S. and Canada (which includes imports), totaled an estimated 5.11 billion pounds in 2015, an increase of 4.6% over the 2014 total.

This is the sixth year in a row that shipments of extrusions have grown and reflects a 48% increase in annual shipments compared to 2009. Aluminum extrusions are the third-largest product segment in the domestic aluminum industry, representing about 22% of the total aluminum market in North America. The AEC and the Aluminum Association have collaborated on reporting annual end use figures for extrusions since 1999, resulting in a more accurate and up-to-date account of the North American aluminum extrusion industry.

“What is most exciting about these results is the growth the industry is realizing overall, especially in automotive applications,” said Jeff Henderson, president of the AEC. “Even though our largest end-use category, building and construction, grew a modest 4.5% last year, it was the fourth consecutive year we’ve seen increases. However, unlike four years ago, the base has grown. So now, these increases are actually reflective of significant volumes for extrusion producers.”

Building and Construction continues to be the largest market segment in the extrusion sector with domestic shipments of 1.91 billion pounds, or 37.4% of the domestic market for extrusions. In 2015, shipments in this market segment grew 4.5% compared to the previous year. Doors and windows, representing 32.1% of this market segment’s total shipments, grew 4.8% over 2014. At 33.1% of the Building and Construction market segment in 2015, shipments to curtain wall, store fronts, and entrances increased by 8.8% over 2014.

Transportation is the second largest market segment, totaling 1.63 billion pounds in 2015 and representing 31.8% of total domestic shipments. In total, shipments to transportation end-uses increased by 8.7% over 2014. Passenger cars, trucks, and buses accounted for 42.8% of shipments within this segment in 2015, followed by trailers and semi-trailers at 29.4%.

Other market sectors include consumer durables (9.5%), machinery and equipment (9.4%), electrical (10.4%), and other end-uses (1.4%). While not for domestic consumption, U.S. and Canadian producers also exported 303 million pounds of aluminum extrusions in 2015, representing 5.6% of total industry shipments.

Details on shipments and end uses for 1967 to 2015 will be made available in the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Statistical Review 2015, which is scheduled for release in the third quarter of this year.

Note: Statistics are based on the results of surveys conducted by the Aluminum Association in cooperation with the AEC, as well as estimates developed by the Aluminum Association’s Statistical and Market Research Committee. The surveys compute and summarize changes within each specific market segment. The Aluminum Association monthly and quarterly surveys represent about 59% of industry shipments. The AEC annual end-use survey for 2015 compiled data from 52 participants and these participants represent approximately 70% of total industry shipments. The contributions by these 52 participants are an important component of the Association’s process to develop end use estimates for the industry.

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