Strong demand from overseas aluminium foil markets in the final quarter of 2017 saw aluminium foil deliveries from European foil rollers reach a new record tonnage for the full year, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
Overall deliveries for the full twelve-month period were at 886,300 tonnes, up 1.3% on a year ago. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, were up 1.8% year on year, while thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, slightly increased by 0.3 percent. Total domestic deliveries were ahead by 0.6% in the period, while exports improved strongly, by 5.7%.
The final three months of 2017 saw deliveries to non-European markets increase by 37.2%, with domestic deliveries going down by 2.2%. After a buoyant 2016, demand for thicker gauges has climbed by 1.0%, whereas deliveries of thinner gauges have gone up by 2.8%. At 214,800 tonnes in total, fourth-quarter deliveries were 2.2% ahead.
Bruno Rea, EAFA president and Roller Group chairman, commented: “These results indicate a satisfying full year 2017. High demand seems set to continue, both at home and abroad, meaning our members carefully forecast a positive outlook for 2018. We are seeing an improvement in domestic markets, as well as some local structural supply issues in key overseas markets. These offer good opportunities for increasing output and sales from European suppliers.”
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.