European Aluminium Foil Trends for the First Half of 2004

Figures compiled by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) for the first six months of 2004, indicate that shipments of aluminium foil have maintained the healthy level set in the first quarter and were very much in line with the strong sales in the same period last year at 422,000 tons (2003: 419,000).

Exports continue to advance strongly, with an 2% increase over 2003. Within the EAFA 'home' territory*, usage for the six month period has shown stable demand (+ 0,3 %) compared to last year in spite of a generally unfavourable European economic background.

Of particular interest within these figures has been the increase (3 %) in demand for thicker foil (over 60µm) combined by a small decrease of shipments of thinner foil (-1%). Taking the ongoing down gauging into consideration, thus results in at least stable use of foil in flexible packaging applications, too.

Industry opinion is that last year’s disappointing third quarter will not be repeated this year, and general expectations for the rest of 2004 are the continuation of a high level of sales with even some further growth over the year as a whole.

The European Aluminium Foil Association is the international body representing companies engaged in the rolling and converting of aluminium foil and in the manufacture of alufoil containers. More than 100 members include companies in Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

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