Supply response lags behind demand shock for US aluminium

US Midwest aluminium premiums have slumped in reaction to the ramifications of the spread of Covid-19.

The US aluminium market has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to remain challenged for much of this year. The extent of the impact will depend upon factors including how long it will take for demand from the major end-use markets to recover and what the mills’ supply response will be. It is not that the US aluminium market had been all that stellar over the last few years, John Mothersole, director of research for IHS Markit, pointed out, “but now it is terrible.”
Preliminary estimates by the Aluminum Association indicate that combined US and Canadian aluminium shipments were down by about 3% year on year. Matt Meenan, a spokesman for the association, said that while that marked the first year-on-year decline in a decade, domestic aluminium shipments remained historically high as it followed two consecutive years of record shipment levels.

Yang Cao, senior analyst for...

Published

May 11, 2020

11:00 GMT

New York