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North American Aluminum Demand Increased in 2022

The Aluminum Association released preliminary estimates showing 4.8% year-over-year demand growth for the aluminum industry in North America (U.S. and Canada) in 2022. This outpaced overall estimated 2.7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the U.S. in 2022. While estimates show year-over-year growth, the report indicates a slowdown in demand for the second half of 2022.

Chart shoring the Preliminary estimates for North American demand for aluminum in 2022 (presented as billions of pounds). (Source: The Aluminum Association.)
Preliminary estimates for North American demand for aluminum in 2022 (presented as billions of pounds). (Source: The Aluminum Association.)

“Despite some headwinds and softer demand in the second half of the year, this latest data shows an industry built to last,” said Charles Johnson, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Geopolitical disruptions, supply chain issues and inflationary pressures could continue to pose some challenges in 2023. However, with historic investment in U.S. aluminum manufacturing last year and continued market growth opportunities, the mid-and long-term trendlines for aluminum in America remain incredibly strong.”

The North American data was presented as part of the Association’s monthly Aluminum Situation statistical report, which also noted that North American aluminum demand (shipments by domestic producers plus imports) totaled an estimated 27.5 billion lbs in 2022, advancing 4.8% over 2021. Overall demand in 2022 approached record levels seen in 2018 and 2019. However, compared to December 2021, aluminum demand contracted 3.7% in December 2022, following a similar contraction in November.

Most major semi-fabricated — or “mill” — product categories saw increased year-over-year demand growth, led by sheet and plate products (6.1%) and foil (5.1%). In total, mill product demand grew 4.1% year-over-year in 2022.

Last year, the U.S. aluminum industry announced more investment in domestic manufacturing than in the past several decades combined. Aluminum companies announced billions to build new aluminum rolling and recycling capacity, including greenfield plants slated to come online in the coming years. This includes the $2.5 billion recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama, being constructed by Novelis — which represents the first integrated rolling facility to be built in the U.S. in 40 years.

The Aluminum Situation report is one of more than two-dozen ongoing industry statistical reports developed exclusively by the Association through surveys of aluminum producers, fabricators, and recyclers. Subscribers to the Aluminum Association statistical reports have access to an online portal with data users can manipulate directly to produce interactive, presentation-ready charts and graphs. Learn more about the Aluminum Association’s statistical offerings online.

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