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Rapid collapse of prices for steel products

The German Association “Verband Metallverpackungen e.V.”, Düsseldorf, currently expects no major changes for supply material costs for steel packaging between November and December 2008. According to the Association demand was already muted in the third quarter of 2008 suggesting that producers are obviously well equipped with supply material stocks.

Aluminium foil sales dipped due to recession.

Likewise, sales of tin foil dropped sharply in Europe. Over the first three quarters of 2008 sales were down by 4.9 % against the same period in 2007. In the third quarter alone deliveries were down to 198,300 t in total – this corresponds to a 6.4 % decrease. However, the sales of thin foil for flexible packaging and household foils “only” dropped by 3.3 %.

- The global economic downswing has affected aluminium foil producers just as much as other sectors. After several consecutive years with record sales the first months of this year posed quite a challenge to our industry. We hope the current recession is only a glitch and we will already see light at the end of the tunnel in late 2009 - said Stefan Glimm, CEO of the European Aluminium Foil Association e.V. (EAFA), and added: - Since approximately 75 % of our sales go to foil producers for food, beverages and pharmaceuticals the economic setback will affect our industry less than other branches.

All in all, the sector is banking on that omnipresent buzzword “sustainability”: metal packaging boasts the highest recycling rate of all packaging materials worldwide since metal can be reworked any number of times without compromising on quality. Waste aluminium is turned into new aluminium products, waste steel into new steel products – and everything is kept within a closed-loop material cycle. This saves resources, reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions in packaging production. Metal packaging is therefore considered a precious raw material.

Metal packaging and metal closures are made of aluminium and steel and resources are plentiful for both. In Europe metal packaging also scores the highest recycling rate of all types of packaging: here 66% of steel and 58% of aluminium packaging is recycled. The proportion of recycled material in metal packaging is correspondingly high. On average 56% of steel products consists of recycled materials while aluminium for packaging contains about 50% recycled material. And although aluminium has been used commercially for 150 years now 75% of the original primary aluminium is still in circulation.