Demand for aluminium foil stabilizes in first half of 2022
The first half of 2022 saw stability return to deliveries of foil for containers and technical applications while converter foil production continued the increase seen in Q1 due, in part, to more out of home consumption, according to figures just released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). Exports continued to decline at the rate which was the average for 2021 (-15%). Overall demand grew in the first half of 2022 by 0.7% compared with 2021, reaching 494,000 tonnes (2021: 490,300t).
After a prolonged period of fluctuating demand, thicker gauges, used for semi-rigid containers, technical or other applications, performed better in Q2, even when compared to the very good quarter seen in 2021, adding 0.7%. The recovery in demand for these products enabled deliveries for the first six months of 2022 to finish just 2% below last time, which was a period of strong recovery after the pandemic eased. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, saw Q2 results 2.2% ahead, resulting in an uplift of 2.3% at the halfway stage, compared with last year. Overall, domestic sales of all gauges were 3.3% ahead.
Bruno Rea, Chair of the EAFA Roller Group remains cautiously optimistic about the outlook for the rest of 2022, “We are pleased to see the return of a stable business environment, despite the generally difficult economic situation. European foil rollers are very concerned about the availability of natural gas and its price development. So we very much welcome the decision by the EU Commission and its Member States to consider the agri-food supply chain as “societally-critical” in the “Save Gas for a Safe Winter” initiative. About three quarters of aluminium foil deliveries are used for food and pharmaceutical packaging and related applications.”
“We are eager to serve our customers with the volumes necessary to ensure the safe and secure supply of products which are seen as vital to European consumers and patients. The outlook for the second half is predicted to be on a similar level to the first six months, but it is very dependent on the general situation in a number of critical areas of supply and inflationary factors in all our markets,” he added.