After continuous, and in some cases rapid, growth at above-average rates in the past decade, the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL) reports a decline in 2019. Global production fell from the previous year’s record level of over six billion cans to almost 5.8 billion. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 3.7 per cent.
Gregor Spengler, Secretary General of AEROBAL, is not overly concerned though: “Given the very difficult economic environment, this is a rather moderate decline compared with other industries, and it follows record results in recent years. Thanks to aluminium’s outstanding properties, its excellent recyclability and its high intrinsic value, coupled with its extremely good record in terms of sustainability, aerosol cans made from the light metal have been able to maintain the strong role they play in the global packaging market. And we will continue to strengthen this position because of the unique benefits aluminium aerosol cans offer, especially as our members are at the forefront when it comes to developing promising innovations such as new alloys. That’s why I’m confident about the future despite the dip in demand last year.”
A look at the most important markets for aluminium aerosol cans supports his assessment. Sales of deodorants, for example, the industry’s most important market by far, bucked the trend and increased 2.4 per cent. The increasingly important and highly promising pharmaceutical market also maintained its above-average growth with an increase of almost six per cent. By contrast, classic markets such as hair care and household products as well as technical applications recorded significant declines.
The European market proved to be a rather stabilising factor in 2019: shipments declined only 2.8 per cent year-on-year. In contrast, the markets in North and South America and Asia, which have performed better in recent years, suffered greater declines in 2019: 5.2 per cent in the Americas and 8.4 per cent in Asia. The interesting markets in the Middle East performed extremely well, albeit still at a low level.
It is more than difficult to make a reliable forecast for 2020 due to the continuing difficult global economic situation and the spread of the corona virus and its impact on supply chains and consumer behaviour. In the medium to long term, however, aluminium aerosol cans are outstandingly well positioned for the packaging market of the future thanks to their wealth of functional benefits and their positive sustainability balance.