Senior Director of Public Affairs
North American Aluminum Industry Hit Record High Shipments in 2018
Industry Surpasses Prior Peak Set in 2006 and Marks Ninth Consecutive Year of Growth
WAUCONDA, IL & ARLINGTON, VA, June 25, 2019 -- The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) and the Aluminum Association report that the aluminum extrusion industry in the United States and Canada reached record high shipments in 2018. Among key findings, producer shipments totaled 5.51 billion pounds in 2018, which is 4.5 percent higher than shipments in 2017 and 3.2 percent higher than shipments in 2006. This is the ninth consecutive year of growth.
(Image courtesy of The Aluminum Association)
Shipments of extruded products to domestic markets increased across all sectors in 2018. Building and Construction continues to be the largest market sector for extruded products, although not as significant as a percentage of total shipments as in 2006 (see comparisons below). Shipments to the Building and Construction market totaled 2.12 billion pounds in 2018. Transportation is the second largest market sector at 1.82 billion pounds. Shipments to this sector have grown by 16% since 2006. Auto and light truck is the principal growth market for extruded products and shipments to this sector have grown by more than 72% since 2006. Other important market sectors for extruded products are consumer durables, machinery and equipment, electrical, and exports.
(Image courtesy of The Aluminum Association)
"Surpassing its highpoint in 2006 is a great milestone for the aluminum extrusion industry. The numbers clearly show expanded utilization of aluminum extrusions in the transportation sector driven by new applications in the automotive industry," Jeff Henderson, President of the Aluminum Extruders Council said. "Meanwhile, building and construction demand has held up even though building starts continue to be well below their peaks in 2006. The construction industry’s shift to thermally enhanced extrusions and growing demand in the commercial building sector have maintained this end-use segment as the largest consumers of aluminum extrusions. Other new applications in industrial, electrical, and renewable energy continue to report growth as well."
"Extrusions are a critical segment of the aluminum industry value chain in the United States and we are pleased to see continued demand growth," added Ryan Olsen, the Aluminum Association's Vice President and Business Information Statistics. "Extrusions represent nearly 30 percent of all aluminum industry jobs in the U.S. – our single largest segment."
Imports of extruded products into the United States and Canada, excluding cross border trade, continued to rise in 2018 and totaled 472 million pounds. Import penetration, which is measured as a share of domestic producer shipments less exports, grew to 8.4 percent in 2018, compared to 7.5 percent in 2017. Peak imports were recorded in 2010 at 488 million pounds. The top five source countries for imports during 2018 include: Mexico; Vietnam; Malaysia; Indonesia; and China.
"The aluminum industry in the United States is committed to free, fair and open trade with partners who play by the rules," Olsen added. "That’s why the Aluminum Association, along with our partners at the Aluminum Extruders Council, have focused on targeted trade enforcement efforts in markets where unfairly subsidized aluminum from China is hurting companies and workers."
"We are looking closely at growing imports into the North American market," added Henderson. "While the mix of countries exporting to the U.S. have changed a bit, the pattern is familiar to extruders. All in all, 2018 was a breakout year for aluminum extrusion consumption and demonstrates the effectiveness of the massive capital investment made in this industry since it gained tariff protection against unfair trade practices by extruders and importers of aluminum profiles produced in China."
Aluminum Association statistics are based on the results of surveys conducted by the Aluminum Association in cooperation with the Aluminum Extruders Council , as well as estimates developed by the members of the Association’s Statistical and Market Research Committee.
Details on shipments and end uses for 1967 to 2018 will be made available in the Aluminum Association’s annual factbook, the Aluminum Statistical Review for 2018, which is scheduled for release in the third quarter of this year.
The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) is a progressive trade association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America. AEC is committed to bringing comprehensive information about extrusion's characteristics, applications, environmental benefits, design and technology to users, product designers, engineers and the academic community. Further, AEC is focused on enhancing the ability of its members to meet the emerging demands of the market through sharing knowledge and best practices. For more information, visit the Council’s website at www.aec.org, on Twitter at @AEC_org or at Facebook.com/AluminumExtrudersCouncilAEC.
The Aluminum Association represents aluminum production and jobs in the United States, ranging from primary production to value added products to recycling, as well as suppliers to the industry. The Association is the industry’s leading voice, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics. In the U.S., the aluminum industry supports $174 billion in economic activity and nearly 700,000 jobs. For more information visit www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.