Germany’s secondary and scrap aluminium market remains the strongest in Europe, but is heading for trouble as the export market weakens, according to Michael Zieren of Affinage de Lorraine – part of Oetinger Aluminium.

“If the export markets are not running well, then we’re not able to sell the same quantities we have in better times,” he said, on the sidelines of Metal Bulletin’s 28th International Recycled Aluminium Conference in Salzburg, Austria.

“Things are not looking quite so good now. My opinion is that most customers in Germany will stay optimistic, though,” he added.

The French market is a different story, however, as the debt crisis that has already hit Spain, Italy and Greece begins to creep in.

“Southern Europe is suffering; France included,” Zieren said.

Production volumes across the group in 2012 are likely to remain flat against 2011, at about 300,000 tonnes, but it will maintain its position as the largest refiner in Europe.

Claire Hack
Twitter: @clairehack_mb