According to Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie e. V. (General Association of the Aluminum Industry or GDA), the development of the German aluminum aerosol can and tube market in the first half of 2021 can only be adequately assessed in retrospect to 2020, when the first quarter of 2020 (the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis) was still characterized by extremely lively demand from all end consumer markets
Food and household sectors stable in the crisis, pharmaceuticals mixed, personal care weaker
In the course of the COVID-19 crisis, however, deliveries to the personal care market, which dominated in terms of volume, declined significantly due to mobility restrictions and temporary closures of hairdressing salons, beauty studios and duty-free shops in airports. The demand for deodorants and hair color fell noticeably, with the hair color segment weakening particularly in the first quarter of 2021.
Demand from the food and household sectors went up significantly against the trend during this period. In contrast, demand from the pharmaceutical market was mixed as drug prescriptions were fewer due to the decline in doctor visits during the pandemic.
In view of these pandemic-related developments, the total decrease in deliveries in the industry, which amounted to 7% in the first half of 2021, is still moderate, said GDA.
Reliability of aluminum packaging manufacturers in difficult times
Customers’ plans are still extremely short-term and volatile, which demands a high degree of flexibility in production planning from packaging manufacturers. The aerosol can and tube industry is worried about the still-unusually high prices for raw materials such as aluminum, plastic, cardboard, wood, coatings and printing inks, as well as for transport services, which have led to considerable cost increases in the industry.
“There has been a significant shortage of materials in some areas, which, in some cases, has made cost-intensive stock-building in the packaging industry necessary in order to ensure the reliable delivery of this system-relevant industry,” said Johannes Schick, Chairman of GDA’s Tubes, Cans & Extruded Parts Division.
“In this way, out-of-stock situations could be avoided for customers of can and tube manufacturers,” added Schick.
Overall, the outlook for the industry for the rest of 2021 is cautiously optimistic, despite the spreading Delta Variant and a decreasing willingness to vaccinate. The brightening mood and confidence in the population should fuel consumption in the next few months.