Manufacturers of aerosol cans and aluminium tubes “got away with a black eye” in 2020, according to the German Aluminium Association (GDA).
Demand for aluminium tubes declined only slightly by around 1%, as the strong demand from the pharmaceutical and food sectors almost offset the decline in cosmetic products.
Deliveries of aluminium aerosol cans to Germany fell by around 9% due to lower sales in the deodorants market. Despite the brisk demand for disinfectants in the first quarter of 2020, the industry was “not nearly able to compensate for this decline,” said the GDA.
Regardless, the overall result for 2020 is still ‘moderate’ compared to other end-use markets in the aluminium industry.
Johannes Schick, chairman of the GDA’s Division for Tubes, Cans, and Impact-Extruded Parts, said: “Due to the ongoing pandemic, the slow start of vaccinations and the associated restrictions for the population in Germany and Europe-wide, the market situation is expected to remain difficult until the middle of the year, because customers plan carefully and drive on sight.
“In particular, the demand from the cosmetics market will continue to suffer from the mobility restrictions, as the shops in the cities will be closed at least until mid-February and other important sales channels such as duty-free shops in airports are also closed.
“A sustained upturn in the market is only expected from the third quarter of 2021. Until then, the market situation will remain rather erratic.”
Packaging recyclability will play an increasingly important role in 2021. Here, said the GDA, aluminium packaging can ‘score’ because it can be recycled almost infinitely without any loss of quality. The current recycling rate for aluminium packaging in Germany is 93.2%
The growth potential for aluminium packaging in the German market is considerable because it currently only accounts for around 1% of total packaging consumption in the country. Coupled with the ‘outstanding’ protective performance of aluminium, which prevents product spoilage and loss, an ecologically-convincing overall package is delivered, said the GDA. Aluminium is, therefore, in line with the EU Commission’s Green Deal approach for more resource efficiency and sustainability.