September 2021

Aluminum aerosol can industry defies pandemic, asserts AEROBAL

The International Organization of Aluminum Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL) reported that global shipments by its member companies fell by 3.9% to approximately 2.9 billion units in the first half of 2021. The year-on-year decline was moderate, said AEROBAL, as global demand was still lively in the first quarter of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic did not have a full impact on the market until the second quarter of 2020.

Sales of deodorants and hairsprays—as with the entire personal care sector—suffered in the first half of 2021 because consumers went out less due to the pandemic. As a result, deliveries to the deodorant market, which account for approximately 60% of all deliveries in the industry, fell by almost 2%. Deliveries to the hairspray segment were hit much harder and fell by a clear double-digit rate.

            Developments in the food sector were more positive, as consumers spent more time at home and cooked meals for themselves. Worldwide deliveries to this niche market increased by almost 50%. The specific, pandemic-related sales boom in disinfectants seen in 2020 did not continue in 2021, as AEROBAL speculated that these products are more likely to be packaged in plastic bottles.

Rising raw material prices a cause for concern

“AEROBAL members are very concerned about the skyrocketing price of aluminum,” observed AEROBAL President Leopold Werdich.

“The manufacturers who now have to stock up on metal are in a mess. Other relevant cost drivers are paints, printing inks, cardboard packaging, energy, wages and transport services. The pressure comes from all sides at the same time,” he said.

While supply bottlenecks have already been reported in other industries due to the tense situation on the raw material markets, AEROBAL noted that the supply chains in the aluminum aerosol can industry have so far been stable. However, there is increased anxiety.

Bottleneck scrap availability

Sustainability and decarbonization is still at the top of the agenda in the aluminum aerosol can industry, said AEROBAL. In particular, customers’ requests to use recycled material in aluminum aerosol cans represents a major challenge for manufacturers due to the limited availability of scrap that meets the high demand.

            AEROBAL concluded that the general mood in the industry is subdued due to the extreme cost burden, even if the current demand is satisfactory. A sustainable upturn is not expected until 2022.