This followed a ‘short’ month in January, due to later than usual production start-ups after the Christmas and New Year breaks.

Sales of thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, rose by 5%, confirming that industrial applications are continuing to recover after a long period of stagnation. However demand for thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, fell by 6%, mainly driven by EAFA exports. Strongly expanded exports throughout 2014, fell by 2.6% in total during the first three months of 2015. That was an anticipated adjustment after the increased export growth from the EAFA region had been spectacular in the previous 12 months. Overall domestic demand remains flat and fell by 2.5%.

Commenting on the latest figures Stefan Glimm, EAFA’s Chief Executive Director said, “We see demand for foil increasing in the coming months. There are some positive signs that especially the thin foil markets are going to recover in the short to medium term. The weaker Euro will certainly help the industry in the export markets. We remain realistic, but cautiously optimistic.”

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.

*EAFA region covers EU 28, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey