Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Stamper, John W.
Aluminum, pp. 135-158 PDF (2.4 MB)
135Aluminum By John W. Stamper' Consumption of aluminum in the United States increased dramatically, and the industry's oversupply problem, which was at its worst in 1970 and 1971, appeared to be ended. Production facilities that had been closed during 1970—71 were reopened, and the operating rate was increased markedly, although output increased at a slower rate than demand. World demand also increased signifi cantly, and the oversupply of the past few years in most countries was eased somewhat. World output increased 6.4%, compared with an estimated 10% increase in demand. The largest production increase was in Asia, where Japan produced about 14% more than in 1971. The world operating rate was 85% of yearend capacity, compared with an 83% rate during 1971. Table 1.—Salient aluminum statistics (Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 United States: Primary production Value Price: Ingot, average cents per pound Secondary recovery Exports (crude and semicrude) Imports for consumption (crude and semicrude) Consumption, apparent World: Production 3,255 1,639,621 25.6 817 351 * 793 4,663 8,839 3,793 2,013,403 27.2 901 575 558 4,710 9,885 3,976 2,190,087 28.7 781 612 468 4,519 10,641 3,925 2,154,446 29.0 816 293 690 5,099 11,375 4,122 2,069,555 25.0 946 329 794 5,588 12,103 Legislation and Government Programs. —During 1972, 6,125 short tons of primary aluminum was sold from Government inventories under the long-range disposal contracts between industry and the General Services Administration that were implemented in December 1965. The total quantity sold under the program from December 1965 through December 1972 was 623,498 short tons. Contracts between the Government and aluminum producers, covering industry purchases of surplus aluminum metal from U.S. stockpiles, were amended in December to provide for the sale of 120,000 tons of metal per year during the 3-year period beginning July 1, 1972. Annual industry purchases under the amended contracts after July 1, 1975, were scheduled to decline over the years through 1990. The aluminum stockpile objective of 450,000 tons was reduced to zero on December 20, 1972, and the sales could include the entire quantity of aluminum held in Government inventories which totaled about 1,263,000 tons. The Bureau of Domestic Commerce (BDC), U.S. Department of Commerce, established aluminum set-asides each quarter during 1972 to meet the estimated requirements of the Department of Defense, Atomic Energy Commission, National Aer - onautics and Space Administration, and related defense programs. The set-aside for the year was 250,000 short tons, down from 315,000 tons in 1971 and 455,000 tons in 1970. The Bureau of Customs received information from a domestic firm on April 7, 1972, indicating a possibility that alumi1 Physical scientist, Division of Nonferrous Metals.
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