Aluminum aerospace alloy lead times to shorten

Oct 04, 2012 | 04:32 PM | Suzy Waite

Tags  Constellium, Alcoa, Kaiser Aluminum, service centers, Ravenswood plant, aluminum, aerospace, lead times 2000 series

NEW YORK — Lead times for aerospace aluminum alloys are expected to pare back next year as more capacity for the value-added products comes online, market sources told AMM.

Lead times are fairly robust at between three and five months, down slightly from as high as six months earlier this fall, but service center sources maintain that they could come in noticeably early next year.

"I think lead times will shorten," one service center source said, noting that 2013 supply looks poised to outpace an expected pickup in demand.

"There is a certain amount of pent-up demand because airlines all ... need to upgrade their planes. A 20-year-old 737 is not going to get the kind of mileage a new one will get. (But) every plate mill doubled their capacity in anticipation of the big aerospace push," he said. "They’re all putting millions into their aerospace capacity, but how long will that (demand) last if everyone has more capacity?"....

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