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German aluminium industry expects slight economic downturn

The German aluminium industry is expecting a slight economic downturn, according to the Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie (GDA), the federation of the German aluminium industry. According to a report by Recycling Magazine, the German aluminium industry is reducing production in many areas.

Aluminium conversion in Germany totalled around 185,100 tonnes during January-June 2019. This meant production was 5.4% lower than the same period last year. The production of metal powder and the production of foil and thin strip dropped by 3.7% and 5.1% respectively, but the production of tubes, aerosol and other cans in Germany fell by 9%.

Andreas Postler, head of economics and trade policy at GDA, said: “We are very concerned about the trade conflict between the USA and China and are keeping a watchful eye on developments.

“This is not only because considerable quantities of aluminium products are being diverted to the European market, but also because the sword of Damocles, in the shape of extensive protectionism, is reducing investment activity considerably in many sectors.

“There are other cyclical factors as well, such as the slowdown in global growth dynamics, an increase in the probability of an unregulated Brexit, a far-reaching structural change in the automotive industry, and these are having a negative impact on the economy.

“The German aluminium industry cannot detach itself from this development. That is why the mood in the industry is subdued for the time being.”

Although the outlook is somewhat subdued, the industry is still showing a solid path of growth in the medium-to-long-term. Christian Wellner, executive member of the managing board, said: “Demand for aluminium will continue to grow globally and demand in Germany remains high.

“Furthermore, the German aluminium industry has also shown in the past that it can hold its own, despite increasingly tense competition and cooling demand. This good performance is largely due to the high innovation potential of German companies and their good competitive position.”

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