Continuing recovery in European markets more than offset volatility in exports of alufoil products, according to figures just released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).

Deliveries of all gauges rose 0.5% year on year, in the three months to September 2017, with domestic deliveries ahead by 1.4% compared with last year. Exports performance continues to be weak, falling 2.8% in that period.

In the first nine months, total deliveries improved 0.9% to reach 671,000 tonnes (2016: 664,700t) +0.9%, maintaining the positive performance seen in the first two quarters. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, rose by 1.4%, while thicker foils, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, were just 0.1% better – but maintaining this upward momentum is encouraging, given the big jumps seen last year after a long period of declining demand.

Overall domestic deliveries added 1.5% in the year to date, a modest improvement on the same period in 2016, with exports, while decreasing by 3.1%, offer some encouragement, as this is far less than the double digit fall recorded in 2016, indicating the demand for European materials in overseas markets is stabilizing.Guido Aufdemkamp, Executive Director of EAFA commented, “As we reach the end of the year these figures offer the prospect of a good year in total. Demand for alufoil products is expected to grow in line with economic developments, which remain promising and continue to improve generally. However the climate for recovery also depends on factors such as US trade policy, competition from other producers and circumstances in other markets, particularly Asia.” 

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