Global shipments of aluminium aerosol cans fell by almost 4 % to 2.9bn units in the first half of 2021, compared to the year-ago period.
According to the industry body Aerobal, aluminium aerosol can shipments of deodorants and hairsprays (as well as the entire cosmetics sector) suffered as consumers went out less due to the pandemic. That is why the deliveries to the deodorant market, which is dominant in terms of volume and which accounts for around 60 % of all deliveries in the industry, fell by almost 2 %. Deliveries to the hairspray segment were hit much harder and fell by a clear double-digit rate.
Aerosol can deliveries to the food sector develop very dynamically
By contrast, the development in the food sector was very positive, as consumers spent more time at home and cooked the meals themselves. Worldwide deliveries to this market, which currently still has to be described as a niche market, increased by almost 50 %. The pandemic-related special boom in disinfectants in 2020 did not continue in 2021 because these products are more likely to be packed in plastic bottles.
Exploding raw material prices are a cause for concern
“The Aerobal members are very concerned about the skyrocketing aluminium price. 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,” says Aerobal president Leopold Werdich.
While supply bottlenecks have already been reported in other industries due to the tense situation on the raw material markets, the supply chains in the aluminium aerosol can industry have so far been stable. However, nervousness also increases here.
Bottleneck scrap availability
The topic of sustainability and decarbonization is still at the top of the agenda in the aluminium aerosol can industry. In particular, customers’ requests to use recycled material in aluminium aerosol cans represents a major challenge for manufacturers due to the limited availability of scrap which meets with a high demand at the same time.
The general mood in the industry is subdued due to the extreme cost burden, even if the current demand is quite satisfactory. A sustainable upturn is not expected until 2022.