Aluminum shortage growing in North America
Aluminum shortage growing in North America

14 March 2024 – Following the closure of a major aluminum plant in the United States, concerns are growing about a worsening aluminum shortage. And it is not only in Southeast Asia that demand for stainless steel is picking up, but also in Europe, while two out of three EU plants are on strike.

Aluminum shortage growing in North America

The closure of an aluminum plant in Missouri shines a harsh light on the strained supply chain in the US, which is crucial for the implementation of the country’s clean energy plans.

Aluminum, which is used extensively across all industries, particularly in the North American region, is currently experiencing a shortage in the United States after the surprise closure of the Magnitude 7 Metals plant in Missouri at the end of January.

The plant, which could supply up to 30% of the country’s aluminum needs, is the third closure of a US aluminum plant in less than two years.

Were takeover bids for Magnitude 7 Metals ignored?

However, whether everything was above board during the closure and whether the reason for the closure was not just a pretext now even seems to be a matter for the US judiciary. Alleged takeover bids for Magnitude 7 Metals may have been deliberately delayed or ignored by the owner, which could violate US anti-trust laws.

Stainless steel: demand and prices on the rise

The demand for stainless steel in South East Asia has picked up, which can also be seen in the significantly improved order situation for manufacturers there.

According to the latest market reports, demand and prices for flat rolled stainless steel products also appear to be on the rise in Europe. However, rising demand there is being met with ongoing problems among EU stainless steel manufacturers.

EU mills will probably not be able to meet rising demand

EU mills are therefore unlikely to be able to meet the rising demand, also in view of the current rampant strike culture. Which we can no longer comprehend with the best will in the world, regardless of the sector in question.

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