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Industry Info

North American aluminum demand through H1 down 0.3% on year: trade group

US and Canadian aluminum demand, defined as shipments by domestic producers and imports, reached an estimated 12.157 billion lb in the first half of 2013, 0.3% less than that of the same period last year, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by the Aluminum Association.

Demand for semi-fabricated mill products totaled 8.259 billion lb through June, falling 1.1% from a year ago. Apparent consumption -- defined as demand less exports -- in domestic markets totaled an estimated 10.236 billion lb, down 0.2% from the same period of 2012.

Exports of aluminum from the US and Canada, excluding cross-border trade, totaled 1.922 billion lb year to date, down 0.4% over a year ago, while aluminum imports totaled 2.190 billion lb, down 7.6% from last year.

Demand for aluminum semi-fabricated products in the US and Canada-- measured in shipments by domestic producers plus imports -- totaled an estimated 1.382 billion lb in June, 3.6% lower than the June 2012 total of 1.433 billion lb.

Demand for aluminum sheet and plate totaled 785 million lb in June, down 2.3%, while year-on-year extruded product demand was down 3.7% to 368 million lb.

Estimated shipments of aluminum ingot for castings, exports and other uses totaled 556 million lb, down 12% from last year, and apparent consumption in domestic US and Canada markets totaled 1.671 billion lb in June, down 1.8% from the June 2012 total of 1.703 billion lb.

Producer inventories totaled 2.603 billion lb in June, up 2.4% from the May level of 2.542 billion lb. Producer inventories were up 7.6% compared with the year before.

The US and Canadian aluminum industry bought an estimated 784 million lb of scrap in June, according to aluminum recycling statistics from the US Geological Survey, up 3.2% from the June 2012 total of 759 million.

Aluminum imports of ingot, scrap and mill products into the US and Canada (excluding cross-border trade) were 410 million lb in June, down 7% from last June's total of 441 million lb.

Including scrap, exports totaled 604 million lb in June, down 17.1% from a year ago. Excluding scrap, exports totaled 266 million lb, down 26.5% from last year.

During the first half of 2013, imports fell 6.4% to 2.439 billion lb, while exports dropped 6.9% to 3.904 billion.

Source: Platts