Aluminium extrusion industry in 2018: continued optimism
The European aluminium extrusion industry can look back on a successful 2017 and the current mood and outlook for 2018 are also positive. The German extrusion industry and the German market for extruded products plays an important role within Europe. Business sentiment is positive here as well.
Europe produced 3.4 million tonnes of extrusions in 2017. They are used in industry, the building sector and other markets. The transport and transportation sector is of particular importance where industrial applications are concerned.
Of the 3.4 million tonnes of extrusions produced in Europe last year, a million tonnes were sold in Germany alone. With its almost one-third share, Germany is by far the largest market in Europe. However, trading means that the country is not the ultimate destination for all of these extrusions. Germany is still one of the largest production locations within the European aluminium extrusion industry. Its relative importance here has increased slightly in recent years, which indicates that the German locations are competitive.
Production of extrusions in Germany totalled 583,700 tonnes in 2017, which was 2.4 per cent above the level of the previous year. The output of profiles ? the most important product segment in terms of quantity ? rose 2.1 per cent year-on-year. Rod and bar accounted for the second largest share of total production: in total, 46,800 tonnes were produced. This represents growth of 7.6 per cent in 2017. Tube production in 2017 was 9,600 tonnes (minus 1.7 per cent).
German demand for extruded products - defined as domestic shipments plus imports - was about 1,016,000 tonnes in 2017. This represents an increase of 1.8 per cent year-on-year. Demand was thus close to the level in 2011, the record year to date, when demand was about 1,070,000 tonnes.
France is the second largest market for the European extrusion industry after Germany. Italy is the third most important market, but it has lost about a quarter of its importance since the turn of the millennium. The United Kingdom is the fourth most important regional market and Spain completes the list of the five most important markets for the extrusion industry in Europe.
Top importers expand market share
The European Union is a net importer of extruded products. Net imports totalled about 240,000 tonnes in 2016. The most important supplier nations in terms of quantity are China, Turkey, Russia, Switzerland and Norway (in decreasing order of importance). The top three supplier nations account for 62 per cent of imports. In the first three quarters of 2017, imports rose two per cent. Imports from China and Turkey rose significantly more strongly, with an increase of nine per cent in each case. The rise in imports from Russia was even pronounced: 16 per cent. This meant that not only did the top importers continue to increase their share of imports, they also increased their share of the market.
Economic situation remains favourable
According to current estimates, the growth dynamics of the global economy will increase slightly this year. Current forecasts for 2018 see real growth of 3.3 per cent in GDP. Growth in the Asian region is expected to be above average. An increase of 2.1 per cent is expected in the European Union in 2018. Real growth in GDP of 2.3 per cent is expected in Germany.
Production in the manufacturing sector in Europe rose 2.5 per cent in 2017. Growth of 2.5 per cent in industrial production as a whole is again forecast for Europe in 2018. A similarly positive development is expected for German industry as well.
Orders for extruded products in Germany increased perceptibly in January 2018. Overall, a slightly positive development in shipments and production is expected in Germany for the whole of the year. The development in Europe is currently expected to be similar as well.
Your contact for more information:
Dr Andreas Postler
Head of Economics and Statistics
Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie e.V.
Phone: + 49 211 47 96 118