Growth of aluminium products foiled by Russian dairy embargo

By Simone Hellyer

- Last updated on GMT

Aluminium flexible packaging
Aluminium flexible packaging

Related tags European union Norway Russia

The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) has released its half year results for 2014.

The EAFA claims despite growth in demand for aluminium in the first half of 2014 the Russian embargo​ on dairy from the European Union is having an impact on the aluminium packaging industry.

Guido Aufdemkamp, director of communication, EAFA said the Russian embargo is having a direct impact on the production of aluminium yogurt lids, for example.

Russia introduced a ban on the import of beef, pork, poultry, fruit, vegetables, cheese, and milk from the European Union, US, Australia, Canada, and Norway earlier this month.

The European Union exported 2.1kg of yogurt to Russia in 2013 worth $45.8m according to UN trade data.

Aluminium for the food industry makes up 10% of global production and the Russian proportion of this is relatively low​,” said Chris Bayliss, deputy secretary general, World Aluminium.

He added although the industry as a whole has not been affected it may have more of an impact on aluminium flexible packaging for food.

The EAFA has reported a growth in demand for both thin and thick gauge aluminium. In the six months to June overall production was 434,100t, 2.5% above the 2013 figure of 423,000t this is attributed to strong export results, which are 28% ahead of 2013.

The results also showed European deliveries had remained flat with demand showing a small decline of 0.2% compared with last year.

The continuous growth is promising but we have to pay attention to the current political and economic situation in Europe which might affect that growth path​,” said Manfred Mertens, roller group chairman, EAFA.

Thicker gauges, used for semi-rigid containers and technical applications like ready-meal trays, showed deliveries running 6.3% higher than 2013. This shows an upturn in demand for these gauges after declines for all of the previous 12 months.

Whilst thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils such as confectionary wrappers, showed a growth of just 0.9%.

Figures for the second quarter (April to June) recorded a small drop in demand of 0.5% (212,900t) compared to (214,000t) in 2013, but EAFA say this is due to traditionally lower demand in summer months.