"Because of aluminium's low-weight and durability, people are turning to it for new and innovative application," said Heidi Brock, president of the Aluminium Association. "The North American aluminium industry is growing to meet this demand."
Compared to April 2011, net new orders of mill products reported by domestic producers increased 3.7%. A significant increase was seen in demand for semi-fabricated or mill products which grew 7.9% over the first quarter of 2011. Total demand for semi-fabricated products climbed 5.4% over March 2011.
Primary production in April 2012 rose 2,056 metric tons/year over March 2012's rate, while secondary aluminium recovery increased 13% over March of 2011, according to the United States Geological Survey.
"While most markets are holding steady or beginning to look up, the key drivers are the transportation and electrical sectors," Brock said.
According to the Association, a report by Ducker Research says that aluminium as a percentage of the automotive material mix will double by 2025 to 16%. "The transition to aluminium in the automotive sector is being driven by efforts to increase fuel-efficiency," Brock explained. "Downweighting with aluminium increases fuel efficiency and performance while maintaining the highest level of safety."