Energy crisis alarms the European tube industry

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Despite extremely challenging economic conditions, deliveries of aluminium, laminate and plastic tube producers organised in the European Tube Manufacturers' Association (ETMA) rose by 1%  to around six billion units in the first half of the year.
The individual types of tubes developed differently. Aluminium tubes increased by just under 1%  and plastic tubes by about 2%, while laminate tubes declined by almost 4%. Laminate and aluminium tubes accounted for 36% each of ETMA members’ deliveries. The share of plastic tubes was 28%.
Demand for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products picks up
The positive volume development was due to an increase in demand of almost two percent from the cosmetics market, which dominates in terms of volume. Demand from the pharmaceutical sector, the second largest sales market, developed particularly positively, increasing by a good 8%.
In contrast, deliveries to the dental care market, the third largest sales segment, fell slightly by just under 2%. These three markets together account for about 85% of total deliveries.
The remaining 15% is accounted for by household products and food, which declined relatively sharply in the first half of 2022, falling by almost 15% and 10% respectively.
Threatening effects of the energy crisis
The exorbitant cost increases in the energy sector are particularly worrying.
"Skyrocketing electricity and gas prices are causing ETMA members great distress, and there is no end in sight to this alarming trend. A further worsening of the situation could lead to a situation threatening the existence of some members," said ETMA president Mark Aegler.
In addition, increased energy prices are accompanied by a loss of purchasing power among European consumers due to inflation and fears of recession.
"This is an unpleasant cocktail of difficult economic conditions that will have a lasting impact on the lives of European tube manufacturers and consumers this year and certainly next," added Aegler.
Even though the energy crisis currently outshines all other issues, the demands on the tube industry in terms of sustainability also remain high.
The big challenge is to produce recyclable packaging with minimised material input and the highest possible post-consumer recycled material content to achieve best possible resource efficiency.
"The European tube industry is on the right track here and is working at full speed on increasingly sustainable packaging solutions. This is shown not least by the tubes awarded in ETMA’s annual 'Tube of the Year' competition," Aegler concluded.

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