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EAFA reports Aluminium Foil production growth in Europe on Q1 2013

First quarter 2013 figures for aluminium foil showed growth across all gauges for the first time since mid-2011. Overall Q1 production grew by 3.7% to 209,400t (2012: 201,900). Meanwhile exports* from European manufacturers maintained the momentum seen in the later part of 2012 with a first quarter growth of 10.3%, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) recently.

Thinner gauges, used largely for flexible packaging and household foils continued their steady recovery during 2012 with a 2.4% increase in the first three months of 2013. Thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, advanced by 2.5%, showing growth in this sector for the first time in 18 months.

However the Association believes the outlook remains cautious. EAFA’s Executive Director Stefan Glimm commented, “These are pleasing results, particularly the recovery of volumes for thicker gauges. But demand remains weak in the automotive and building sectors and, until we see an upturn in these industries, predicting future order patterns remains difficult.”

More optimism is evident in the food and beverage markets which are proving very resilient during continued economic uncertainty and slower than expected recoveries in most European economies. Another bright spot is the strong export order books for aluminium foil which indicate the strength of the markets in the Asia-Pacific region, India and the Americas.

“The aluminium foil sector is highly innovative, as the recent winners of the Alufoil Trophy 2013 demonstrated. This, together with a flexible and dynamic approach to demand changes, means that the European foil rollers remain strong and well placed to meet future challenges,” added Mr Glimm.

Aluminium foil characteristics are strength, formability and barrier properties which have made it an essential part of many flexible packaging and container applications. Other uses of aluminium foil include automotive and heat exchange components, insulation material and many industrial applications.