Market Dynamics in Aluminium Industry in North America

Contributed by: Anonymous
July 14, 2021

In January 2021, primary aluminium production in North America stood at 340,000 tons, reflecting a continuous increase by 2,000 tons or 0.60 per cent month-on-month. In December 2020, the output registered a growth of 10,000 tons or 3.05 per cent to 338,000 tons from 328,000 tons in November. In the Q4 2020, North America’s aluminium production totaled 1 million tons, up by 1.94 per cent sequentially.

On a year-on-year basis, primary aluminium production in North America edged 10,000 tons or 3.03 per cent higher in January 2020 from 330,000 tons. In the full-year of 2020, North America churned out 3.976 million tons, down by 4.38 per cent from 3.809 million tons in 2019. Earlier in the decade, aluminum capacity in North America had steadily declined each year from 4.92 million mt in 2013 to 3.77 million mt in 2018, IAI data showed. The region's aluminum output in 2020 represents the second straight year of growth for the industry after production in 2019 changed course, climbing to 3.81 million mt from 2018.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE: TOP US BASED ALUMINIUM SUPPLIERS

  • Arconic supplies highly differentiated aluminum sheet and plate products to the aerospace, automotive, commercial transportation, brazing and industrial markets. The company says it holds "the number one global market position in aluminum sheet and plate for the aerospace industry," and is "a market leader in providing aluminum sheet to the North American automotive market."
  • Alcoa is an aluminum sector pioneer. It currently produces bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products. Alcoa includes four smelters, a refinery, hydroelectric power, a calcined coke plant and a spent potline treatment facility. Its Massena West smelter in New York is the world’s longest continuously operating smelter.
  • Aleris Rolled Products has 13 facilities in North America, Europe. and China. Aleris provides custom rolled aluminum products for aerospace, automotive, building and construction, transportation, packaging, and consumer good sectors.
  • Century Aluminum Company primarily serves the aerospace, automotive, and energy Industries. Century Aluminum is an ISO 9002 certified aluminum manufacturer. The company has four manufacturing plants with average primary aluminum production capacity of over 200,000 metric tons per year.
  • Kaiser Aluminum operates 12 North American facilities to produce semi-fabricated aluminum products for customers worldwide. Kaiser Aluminum produces value-added plate, sheet, and extruded products (such as rod, bar, tube, forged stock, and wire products).
  • JW Aluminum supports building and construction, HVAC, transportation, and packaging industries. Its focus is aluminum rolled products.
  • Tri-Arrows Aluminum Inc recycles, casts, rolls, and finishes aluminum. Tri-Arrows is part of the UACJ Group, which gives it access to research and development in Japan.
  • Logan Aluminum produces over 2 billion pounds of aluminum annually. Logan boasts the largest single can sheet facility in North America and claims to supply over 45% of the North American can market.
  • C-KOE Metals produces high purity aluminum for customers worldwide. C-KOE Metals is certified to meet titanium and aerospace industry standards. It touts its proven, stringent testing protocols
  • Metalmen Sales serves American and international customers for aluminum, stainless, nickel, and titanium. Metalmen Sales stocks and processes a broad selection of alloys in foils, rod, bar, strip, coil, sheet, and plate.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Overall production in 2020 was negatively impacted by the curtailment of Alcoa's 279,000 mt/year Intalco smelter in the US.
  • However, the loss at Intalco was offset by production increases at Century Aluminum's Hawesville smelter in the US and the full production ramp-up of Alcoa's Aluminerie de Becancour smelter in Quebec.
  • Century restored the fourth 50,000 mt/year potline at Hawesville. Becancour returned to its annual nameplate capacity of 413,000 mt following the end of a labor lockout.
  • In 2021, Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA announced that its subsidiary Hydro Aluminium Metal has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to build a new US$120 million aluminium recycling plant in southwest Michigan.
  • In July 2021, Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Group joint venture ELYSIS commenced construction of its first commercial-scale prototype cells utilizing inert anode Quebec Aluminium Plant

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