European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) figures show overall shipment growth of 10.6% to 850.3kt from 768.6kt in 2009.

EAFA President François Coëffic said the figures represented a return close to the record pre-crisis levels of 2006. “Even though we live in unpredictable economic times, confidence is returning and EAFA is cautiously optimistic for 2011.”

Figures for the last quarter of 2010 (207.1kt) were 3.9% up on 2009 re-enforcing the confidence expressed by the association that user markets and consumers are more positive about the future.

The 2010 figures reveal strong demand for packaging and technical products. Thicker gauges, used for container applications and in automotive, building and other industrial sectors, were up 16%, and those for thinner gauges, mainly used in flexible packaging applications and for household foil, were up 9.8%. Exports to non-EAFA countries were also up by 4.1%.

Three quarters of aluminium foil is used in packaging where its barrier properties and formability are used in flexible packaging and container applications.