The US’ P1020 imports fell by 38pc to 136,117mt in May, compared with 219,508mt in May 2020, according to the country’s Customs data.
Imports of this material from Canada and the UAE fell by 42pc and 50pc from last May to 107,719mt and 6,622mt, respectively. In May, Argentina emerged as the second-largest supplier of P1020 to the US, shipping 12,223mt, despite a 3pc drop from 12,631mt in May 2020.
The lack of primary aluminum imports has reflected directly on the US Midwest premium, which has increased since the start of this year with the Davis Index P1020 premium at 30¢/lb above LME Aluminium cash on Jul 12, compared with 14.9¢/lb on Jan 4.
A major reason for the drop in imports has been the Section 232 Tariffs implemented by the Trump administration, which levies a 10pc duty on all primary aluminum imports into the US. With the Biden administration opting to keep these tariffs, the supply chain has been hindered since the US relies heavily on Canada for its P1020, as its consumption outpaces production.
Primary aluminum imports fall
The US imported 314,043mt of primary aluminum in May, down 1pc from 316,932mt in the same month a year ago and 3pc from 324,917mt in April 2021, according to the US Customs data.
The report detailed that Canadian exports to the US fell 13pc on an annual basis in May to 200,314mt from 230,248mt. The second-largest exporter to the US was the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which shipped in 32,822mt, up 20pc from 27,239mt in May 2020.