Mill Orders and Hard Alloy Aluminum Extrusion Lead Times Delayed

New Source Corporation strives to be proactive, maintain high stock levels, and deliver quality materials. However, there are external factors that are currently impacting mill order and hard alloy aluminum extraction delivery timelines. This is an industry-wide issue and is being caused by a variety of factors.

Below we share the reason behind the delays, the impact on timelines, the types of orders impacted, and what New Source Corporation is doing to minimize these delays.

What Is Causing the Delays?

There are a variety of issues in the market that are causing these delays and extending lead times on orders. The primary cause of the delay is the recent unprecedented demand for these metals. Demand has increased significantly from aerospace and non-aerospace industries, such as the automotive and construction industries. Several major programs, such as the Lockheed C 130 and the Boeing F-16, have ramped up build rates, further contributing to the demand for aluminum extrusion.

The rise in demand by both aerospace and non-aerospace for aluminum extrusions is driven by geopolitical issues, rising costs of materials, labor pool shortages, increased build rates, overbooking, severe backlogs, as well as other mill level problems. The ongoing war caused by the Russians invading the Ukraine is causing a ripple effect as it heads into the winter months. The aluminum production has been reduced due to the war causing spikes in power costs, thereby driving up the cost of materials and aluminum extrusion even higher.

To compound the issue, aluminum producers and mills are suffering from the labor and staffing shortages that are plaguing other industries. In addition to staffing issues, mills are also trying to catch up on severe backlogs and overbookings due to the jump in demand for materials. These events and issues have coalesced to create an unprecedented scenario for extrusion lead times in our industry.

What Are the Current Delivery Timelines?

Considering all these factors, delivery timelines have been severely impacted with even longer lead times than initially expected. The instability in the market has driven small press lead times to 75 – 80 weeks (at time of publishing). Based on these lead times, mill’s order books are closed for 2023 delivery dates and all future deliveries will occur in 2024. Any complex, specialty, or unique shapes have a longer lead time, currently sitting at 85 weeks.

While lead times are still in flux and can change at any time, we advise you consider the above timelines when planning your production needs for the near future. We also encourage you to place orders with us as soon as possible to start the metal procurement process.

Are Mill Orders Impacted?

Current mill-run orders are unfortunately also impacted by these delay factors. Any current mill-run orders are now showing a delay of 2-4 months from the previously confirmed delivery date. While it is regrettable, this delay is impacting every order on the market. The good news is that stock orders are not impacted in any way and are delivering according to standard timelines. This is where stocking distributors, such as New Source Corporation, can assist in urgent aerospace needs. We are dedicated to transparency and will continue to keep you up to date on the state of mill orders.

What Steps Is New Source Corporation Taking?

New Source Corporation is doing everything possible to be transparent about delivery times, mitigate delays, and plan. To be proactive, we have increased many current mill orders, invested more heavily in our extrusion stock, and pushed up our reorder points to reduce the impact of the delays. For example, New Source Corporation has purchased enough aluminum to fulfill 12 months of orders rather than just having a 6-month supply on hand.

Our Team Is Here to Help

If you have any questions about an existing order or planning for future production, we encourage you to speak directly to your account representative. They will have the most up-to-date information on all existing orders and lead times for future orders. We value your continued partnership and understanding as we navigate these delays.

Read more in a letter from Jamie Barron, Vice President.

December 16, 2022

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