CHICAGO U.S. and Canadian
aluminum demand and production rose in early 2013 even as an
index for new orders registered a significant year-over-year
decline, according to Aluminum Association data.
U.S. and Canadian aluminum
demandshipments by domestic producers plus
importsincreased to 3.91 billion pounds in the first two
months of 2013, up 1.4 percent from the same period last year,
while apparent domestic consumption (demand minus exports) rose
2.2 percent to roughly 3.25 billion pounds.
Demand for semifabricated mill
products inched up 1.7 percent to about 2.54 billion pounds,
the Arlington, Va.-based group said.
On the trade front, exports of
aluminum ingot and mill productsexcluding cross-border
tradeslipped 2.3 percent to approximately 656 million
pounds, and imports dipped 0.6 percent to about 710 million
Producer inventories totaled
around 2.63 billion pounds at the end of February, up 1.6
percent from a month earlier and 13 percent higher than a year
ago, the association said.
Primary aluminum production in
North America was running at an annual rate of about 5.04
million tonnes last month, down 9,078 tonnes from February but
up 4.8 percent from an annual production rate of around 4.81
million tonnes in March 2012, the association said.
Actual production totaled 1.24
million tonnes in the first quarter of 2013, up 3.7 percent
from the first three months of last year.
But the Aluminum
Associations index of new orders for aluminum mill
products tumbled 6.5 percent in March compared with a year
earlier, with orders for flat-rolled products falling 6.5
percent, extruded products dropping 6.8 percent and drawing
stock sliding 5.4 percent. First-quarter orders fell by an
average of 4.4 percent from a year ago, the association