NEW YORK North American aluminum orders fell in March from the prior month, although they are expected to trend upward in coming months, according to Davenport & Co. LLC data based on seasonally adjusted figures from the Aluminum Association.
March orders fell 7.5 percent from February but were up 5.3 percent in the year to date, Davenport analysts said, noting that orders have fallen in six of the past nine months. Excluding can sheet, orders were down 4 percent in March vs. February.
"Although order growth has taken a breather recently, they remain up when compared to the year-ago period. We expect orders to continue moving higher in the coming months, as economic data domestically continues to hold up well despite uncertainty in Europe and Asia," analysts at Richmond, Va.-based Davenport wrote in a report.
Extruded shapes orders logged the largest monthly decrease, falling 13.3 percent in March from February, followed by sheet and plate (down 5.7 percent) and can sheet (down 2.9 percent). The only segment to post an increase was foil, which saw a 2.5-percent increase in orders in March.