The third quarter of 2018 saw demand for Europe’s aluminium foil surge to record levels, and well ahead of the same period in 2017. This was principally led by a continued spectacular performance in overseas markets. Deliveries in Q3 reached 237,700 tonnes, an increase of 6.4% on the same period of 2017. Domestic demand has remained solid throughout 2018 and continued to reflect (+0.5%) a steady recovery in consumption.
Year-to-date figures are even more impressive. In marked contrast to the first nine months of 2017 the export performance is 28.8% ahead. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, rose by 4.8%. Thicker foils, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications added 1.9%, moving into positive territory after a small decline in the first half of this year. Overall, the nine-months deliveries at 718,000 tonnes are 3.7% better than last time (692,500 tonnes).
Remarking on the figures Guido Aufdemkamp, executive director of EAFA, said: “These good results are based on a unique combination of improved domestic demand and particularly high demand from outside Europe. The international trade flows of aluminium foil have been changed significantly due to the trade actions in the USA and elsewhere. These unusual circumstances may not continue in the long term.”
“While the European sector remains satisfied with the current situation, it is very cautious about the effects of a volatile global political situation, which is impacting directly on the industry at present. But we remain confident that the current year will set another record for deliveries from European foil rollers,” he added.