Outlook for titanium, aluminum bolstered by aerospace market

Apr 30, 2012 | 07:00 PM | AMM staff

Tags  titanium market, aluminum market, International Titanium Association, Michael Metz, aerospace industry, Boeing Co., 787 Dreamliner, Bob O’Brien Titanium Metals Corp.

Demand for titanium, aluminum and other metals is expected to be strong this year and even stronger in subsequent years, based primarily on strength in the aerospace industry.

Upward momentum in the aerospace sector continues to mount as bullish assessments from the world’s largest commercial aircraft builders send strong signals of a continuing turnaround.

By 2013 and 2014, the ramp-up of Boeing Co.’s 787 "Dreamliner" and, by some estimates, overall build rates on commercial transports will have significantly surpassed the rates seen in 2010, industry players said, providing an optimistic outlook not only for titanium but also for aircraft-grade nickels, stainless steels and aluminum alloys.

Fifty-nine customers from six continents have placed orders for 870 Dreamliners valued at more than $178 billion, making it the most successful launch of a twin-aisle commercial airplane in Boeing’s history. A spokesman for the company’s Boeing Commercial Airplanes subsidiary has confirmed that to ensure that the much-delayed program meets its production targets, it plans to start up a "surge line" for the 787 in Everett, Wash., in a building—adjacent to the existing final assembly line—previously used to produce the 767 airliner. The new line, which wasn’t part of the company’s original 787 program, will help Boeing meet its delivery goals as it starts production on a new version of the Dreamliner.....

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