Some sectors within the aluminium industry, including the automotive sector, have been “hit to the core” by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie (GDA), a German association of aluminium companies. However, the organisation says there is also positive news from other sectors, such as packaging.
GDA claims the aluminium packaging sector has remained robust due to “lively demand” from the beverage, food, and pharmaceutical sectors. The organisation said that declining demand from traditional and, in particular, high-priced cosmetics segments, was compensated for in part by the boost in demand for hygiene products such as disinfectants.
Following the initial impact on the cross-border transport of goods, German manufacturers of aluminium packaging have reported smoothly-running supply chains for incoming and outgoing goods. As a result, the GDA says there has been no lack of supply of aluminium, printing inks, varnishes, closures and finished packaging during the pandemic.
In some cases, German manufacturers have been able to stand in for manufacturers in other countries and supply customers with quality products during these challenging times. Flexible and tailored production planning, as well as support from associations, have played a huge part in this, said the GDA.
Johannes Schick, chairman of the GDA’s Tubes, Cans and Impact Extruded Parts division, said: “The ‘made in Germany’ quality label has once again been empathetically confirmed here and ensured maximum customer satisfaction.”
While processes have been running smoothly, the GDA warned that increased customer demand has given way to significantly-reduced order activity in some market segments. Inventories built up by customers, falling demand for cosmetic products in some areas of Europe, and major export markets such as the US and Latin America, where the crisis only recently hit hard, are causing many customers to act cautiously.
Schick added: “We hope that the reduction in inventories now underway among customers, the changed consumer behaviour in some core markets and weakening export markets are only a temporary phenomenon, and will not have a negative impact on the utilisation of production capacities of German manufacturers.”