Wauconda, Illinois and Arlington Virginia -- The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) and the Aluminum Association today released industry estimates of aluminum extrusion shipments in North America by major market for 2015. Among key findings, domestic consumption of aluminum extrusions in the United States and Canada, which includes imports, totaled an estimated 5.11 billion pounds in 2015, an increase of 4.6 percent over the 2014 total of 4.89 billion pounds.
“What is most exciting about these results is the growth the industry is realizing overall, especially in automotive applications”, said Jeff Henderson, President of the Aluminum Extruders Council. He added, “Even though our largest end use category, building and construction, grew a modest 4.5% last year, it was the fourth consecutive year we’ve seen increases. However, unlike four years ago, the base has grown. So now, these increases are actually reflective of significant volumes for extrusion producers.”
This is the sixth year in a row that shipments of extrusions have grown and reflects a 48% increase in annual shipments compared to 2009. Aluminum extrusions, in which heated aluminum is forced by a hydraulic press to flow through a die and emerges as an elongated profile of the die shape, are the third-largest product segment in the domestic aluminum industry, representing about 22 percent of the total aluminum market in North America. The AEC and the Aluminum Association have collaborated on reporting annual end use figures for extrusions since 1999, resulting in a more accurate and up-to-date account of the North American aluminum extrusion industry.
Building and Construction continues to be the largest market segment in the extrusion sector with domestic shipments of 1.91 billion pounds, or 37.4 percent of the domestic market for extrusions. In 2015, shipments in this market segment grew 4.5 percent compared to the previous year. Doors and windows, representing 32.1 percent of this market segment's total shipments, grew 4.8 percent over 2014. At 33.1 percent of the Building and Construction market segment in 2015, shipments to curtain wall, store fronts, and entrances increased by 8.8 percent over 2014.
Transportation is the second largest market segment, totaling 1.63 billion pounds in 2015 and representing 31.8 percent of total domestic shipments. In total, shipments to transportation end uses increased by 8.7 percent over 2014. Passenger cars, trucks, and buses accounted for 42.8 percent of shipments within this segment in 2015, followed by trailers and semi-trailers at 29.4 percent.
Other market sectors include consumer durables (9.5%), machinery and equipment (9.4%), electrical (10.4%), and other end uses (1.4%). While not for domestic consumption, U.S. and Canadian producers also exported 303 million pounds of aluminum extrusions in 2015, representing 5.6 percent of total industry shipments.
Details on shipments and end uses for 1967 to 2015 will be made available in the Aluminum Association’s annual factbook, the Aluminum Statistical Review for 2015, which is scheduled for release in the third quarter of this year.
The Aluminum Association continually strives to improve its domestic market estimates. Accordingly, the Association will continue to utilize its annual billet survey, along with its monthly shipments survey and quarterly end use survey, and the AEC annual end use survey, to benchmark shipments to major markets and specific end uses. Both Associations encourage additional companies to participate in the monthly, quarterly and annual surveys, so that the data better capture emerging trends and more accurately reflect current market realities.
Statistics are based on the results of surveys conducted by the Aluminum Association in cooperation with the AEC, as well as estimates developed by the Aluminum Association’s Statistical and Market Research Committee. The surveys compute and summarize changes within each specific market segment. The Aluminum Association monthly and quarterly surveys represent about 59 percent of industry shipments. The AEC annual end use survey for 2015 compiled data from 52 participants and these participants represent approximately 70 percent of total industry shipments. The contributions by these 52 participants are an important component of our process to develop end use estimates for the industry.
An aluminum extrusion is produced by pushing heated metal through a press to produce a desired form or shape. Typical applications for extruded products include window and door frames, store fronts, auto body frames, solar panel mounting systems, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).