‘Ocean of opportunities’ open to the Chinese aluminum foil sector

By Yolanda WangRead later

The gap between China’s position as the world’s largest aluminum foil producer and consumer, and the country’s per capita consumption compared with other developed countries, presents ‘a major opportunity for the sector’ according to a leading trade body in the country.

Zhang Jilin, vice chairman and secretary-general of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNFA), made the comment during the confirmation of the first Alufoil Trophy China winners. a program he says, ‘can be a positive guiding influence for domestic consumption with high reference value.

‘It helps to promote the advantages of aluminum foil in everyday life and opens up a new ‘ocean’ of possibilities to help find new areas for foil applications,’ he added.

Dong Chunming, Global Aluminium Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI) coordinator in China, noted the importance of continuing to expand the aluminum foil market domestically in China, and quoted Sunlight Metal Consulting when describing China’s aluminum foil industry, in terms of capacity, output, export and consumption, as ranked first in the world. Chinese aluminum foil production grew from 760kt in 2006 to 3,400kt in 2016, which means national output accounts for about 65 percent of the global total. Exports increased from 186kt in 2006 to 1,080kt in 2016. Home consumption ramped up from 640kt in 2006 to 2,400kt in 2016.

However, he explained that in the past two years, due to the decline in property values and slower infrastructure investment growth, consumption of aluminum foil declined in such traditional segments as thermal transmission, construction and structural applications, electricity and electronics. And although Chinese exports of aluminum foil is still growing, it is facing anti-dumping tariffs from the EU, India and the US, so the continued further growth of exports will encounter challenges, according to Dong Chunming.

Under these conditions, adjusting the product offering, developing new products, tapping new application markets and expanding domestic demand is becoming more urgent for China’s aluminum foil industry, he opined.