The first half of 2012 saw production drop by 1.6 % against the same period last year with roughly 531,771 t of raw materials produced in Germany. From this total production, 202,670 t (down 6.4 % year-on-year) came from primary aluminium and 329,101 t (up 1.5 % over 2011) from secondary aluminium. Remaining positive on the situation, GDA executive director Christian Wellner said, "During the first half of 2012 German aluminium production nearly reached the quantity levels of the second half of 2011. The German aluminium industry looks back on stable development in 2012 up to now.”
Semi-finished aluminium production came to a total of 1.2m t in H1 2012, down 2.3% compared to the same period last year. June, however, proved to be a different story for the industry as it saw its first increase of 15.1% in semi-finished aluminium production, which is considered to be the most important sector in the German aluminium industry.
In the further processing of aluminium, a total of 176,323 t was produced in the first half of 2012, which represents a year-on-year drop of 6%. Downstream processing is subdivided into “foil and thin strips”, which dropped by 7%; “tubes, cans and impact extrusions”, down by 1.7%; and “metal powder” with the smallest decrease of 1%.
“The companies of the German aluminium industry are operating in difficult market conditions”, says Andreas Postler, GDA's economist. “Since the beginning of the year the recessionary trends in the euro zone accelerated. This development hits the German companies twofold. It lowers the chances of generating further market shares abroad, because the economic situation of the customer industries abroad turned out precarious." Postler remains positive about the second half of 2012.
Wellner also expects H2 numbers to resemble those of 2011. “Our companies are in a very good position within Europe and should retain their market shares for the most part even in a deteriorating environment," he said.