But these have been more than offset by the continued strong recovery in export deliveries, resulting in overall sales of 643,000 tonnes, ahead by 1.5% compared with the same period in 2013 (633,000t).
The figures also show an underlying trend of recovery for thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, which have shown a welcome increase in volumes of 6% in the year to date. While demand for thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, was flat, recording a small decline of 0.4%.
Total deliveries have stayed in positive territory due entirely to a growth of 24% in exports for the first nine months of 2014. Continuing problems with the recovery of European markets are reflected in a modest fall in sales of 0.8% for the same period.
In the third quarter of 2014 deliveries with 209,000 tonnes remained at almost the same level as 2013 (210,000t). However, once again exports boosted this figure with an increase of 15%, while European demand fell by 2%.
Stefan Glimm, EAFA’s Executive Director commented, “We hope for steady development in the remaining months of 2014, so that overall the year will end with a slight surplus. Despite the increase in exports the competition outside Europe is increasing, so it may not be possible to sustain these levels of growth.”
“In addition the fourth quarter is often the most challenging for aluminium foil producers as our customers de-stock. However, given we are still above 2013 in overall terms, we remain cautiously optimistic about the full year results,” he added.
*EAFA region covers EU 28, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey