Data released last week by the Aluminium Association of Canada showed a substantial drop in the sale of standard commodity ingot (P1020) aluminium from smelters in Canada to buyers in the United States from last month’s numbers.
Per the association, exports to the States from the dominion in July are projected to be off by 30 percent from June, ending the month at 112 thousand metric tons, down from 155 thousand metric tons. Last month’s fall comes on the heels of a 16-percent drop from May, when total exports south of the border came to 185 thousand metric tons.
AAC says the 40-percent fall-off from May through July is indicative of an increased demand for value-added products. Canadian aluminium firms found themselves producing less value-added aluminium products due to a weak market for automotive aluminium, itself a casualty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Jean Simard, President and CEO of AAC said the shifting demand scenario makes cooperation between Canadian smelters and American buyers more crucial than ever.
“We are seeing a clear shift as production rebalances after producers shifted from value-added products as a result of the economic reactions from COVID-19,” she said Jean Simard.
“There is clearly no surge in Canadian aluminium production or exports and now is the time for Canada and the United States to work closely together to maximize the benefits of the new CUSMA trade agreement, to help drive the economic recovery.”
“Any move to introduce measures such as tariffs by the U.S. government will only increase the prices being paid by North American manufacturers and the consumers who buy their products, while making room for metal from other countries like Russia and China,” Simard concluded.
The AAC is a trade organization that represents nine smelters owned by three mining firms, namely Alcoa, Alouette, and Rio Tinto. The nine aluminium smelters employ over 8,700 Canadians at present.