It improved by 0.3% compared with the same period in 2014. This means that the shortfall on total deliveries has narrowed to just 0.7%, down markedly from the 2.5% seen in the first three months of 2015, according to new figures released by EAFA, the European Aluminium Foil Association.
From January to June deliveries in the EAFA region* were 439,300 tonnes (compared with 442,200t for the first six months of 2014). Once again thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, led the way with an increase of 4.5%, continuing the growth established at the end of last year, following a considerable period of decline.
Demand for thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, fell by 3.2%, again affected by a drop in exports. However this figure is almost half that recorded in Q1, reflecting an underlying pick-up in demand in the domestic market. Continuing strong competition from rollers in other parts of the world meant exports fell 7.8% at the halfway stage this year compared with last.
EAFA Vice-President and Roller Group Chairman, Manfred Mertens believes that the underlying trend is positive. “These figures show some stability returning to European markets for alufoil, despite the continuing economic uncertainties of the Eurozone.”
“The technical benefits of aluminium foil used as a barrier material, protecting valuable food products and helping to reduce food losses, means it has even more relevance as a major packaging medium. With the spotlight on food waste, there is underlying strength in our core markets,” he claimed.
“Challenges remain. Europe is not recovering as quickly as everyone hoped and export markets remain very competitive and price sensitive. But these figure are a robust set of results, given the conditions and we are pleased about that,“ added Mr Mertens.
*EAFA region covers EU 28, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey