Strong figures for foil

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Aluminium foil, Europe, Czech republic

European sales of aluminium foil in 2003 achieved the same level as
2002, according to the latest figures from the European Aluminium
Foil Association (EAFA). The body believes that this shows the
strength of the foil industry in the face of difficult economic
circumstances, writes Anthony Fletcher.

Deliveries reached 791,644 tons - a slight increase of 0.1 per cent over the previous year (790,706 tons). Sales were mainly driven by exports outside the EAFA regional coverage - Armenia, European Union, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey - with a growth of 2.7 per cent while usage in the EAFA region decreased slightly by 0.4 per cent.

"The sustained sales underline the continuing high level of demand for aluminium foil despite the difficult economic situation in Europe and shows the global leadership of the European foil industry in terms of quality and competitiveness,"​ said EAFA president Livio Frigerio. "Furthermore, the ongoing practice of downgauging actually means an underestimate of the real growth of alufoil. In view of worldwide economic recovery the industry is optimistic for the year 2004."

Approximately three quarters of aluminium foil is used in packaging where its characteristics of strength, formability and barrier properties have made it an essential part of many flexible packaging and container applications. EAFA​, the international body that represents the interests of the major roller, converters and container manufacturers in Europe, argues that the number of new products that feature innovative uses of alufoil based packaging indicates a healthy future for the material. However, alternatives to aluminium are beginning to enter the market. At the start of the year, ExxonMobil Chemical Films Europe launhced two new metallyte films that provide an ultra-high-barrier alternative to the material.

According to the company, a major advantage of these films, compared to metallised polyester or aluminium foil, is their exceptional performance after flexing and their better puncture resistance, both of which contribute to improved product protection and shelf life. The company believes that the material is perfect for long conservation of products packed under modified atmosphere with little oxygen uptake in the pack headspace.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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