Aluminium aerosol can sector ‘defying’ the pandemic

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The aluminium aerosol can industry is ‘defying’ the pandemic, according to the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL).

Global shipments by AEROBAL’s members fell by 3.9% to around 2.9 billion units in the first half of 2021, but the year-on-year decline has been described as ‘moderate’, as global demand was still ‘very lively’ in the first quarter of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic only unfolded its full impact on the market in Q2 2020.

Sales of deodorants and hairsprays – like the entire cosmetics sector – suffered in the first half of 2021 because consumers stayed at home during the pandemic. This is why deliveries to the deodorant market, which is dominant in terms of volume and accounts for around 60% of all industry deliveries, fell by almost 2%. Deliveries in the hairspray category were hit much harder, said AEROBAL, and fell by a ‘clear double-digit rate’.

The development of the food sector was ‘very positive’, as consumers spent more time at home and cooked meals themselves. Global deliveries to this market, which is still described as ‘niche’, increased by almost 50%. The pandemic-related boom in disinfectants did not continue in 2021, as AEROBAL noted these products are more likely to be packed in plastic containers, rather than aluminium.

However, rising raw material prices are causing concern in the industry, with supply bottlenecks reported in other industries due to the increased pressure.

“AEROBAL members are very concerned about the skyrocketing aluminium price,” said 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.”

So far, however, supply chains in the aluminium aerosol can sector have been stable, said the association, but nervousness is starting to rise.

AEROBAL concluded that the industry’s general mood is ‘subdued’ due to the extreme cost burden, even if the current demand is stable. The association said a sustainable upturn is not expected until next year.

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