European tube market continues to grow
The European tube market remained robust in 2022. The European tube manufacturers association (etma) reports a growth in tube deliveries of just under 2 per cent to a total volume of a good 11.8 billion units.
The most important end-user markets developed very differently. While shipments to the volume-dominant pharmaceutical, dental care and cosmetics markets grew by around 13 per cent, 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively in 2022, demand from the food and household sectors declined by 7 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
"The long-standing globalisation trend in procurement has given way to increasing regionalisation. etma members are seeing many customers focus on European sourcing because security of supply and a certain geographic proximity are playing an increasingly important role following supply chain issues in recent years. European tube suppliers will benefit from this trend," knows etma President Mark Aegler.
Sustainability still high on the agenda
Due to the draft of a new European regulation for packaging and packaging waste presented by the EU Commission, which among other things formulates stricter requirements for the recyclability and design for recycling of packaging, the packaging industry will have to deliver innovations.
The European tube industry has been working successfully for years on even more sustainable packaging solutions that bring improvements through less material use, less complex packaging structures and optimal recyclability. These measures lead to more resource efficiency and a reduction of the product carbon footprint. The draft legislation presented by the EU Commission and the quotas it contains for the use of recycled material in plastic packaging will also pose major challenges with regard to the availability of high-quality post-consumer recycled plastics.
Satisfactory outlook for the first half of 2023
"On a positive note, European tube manufacturers are feeling a slight easing in energy, raw material and freight prices. However, the situation regarding labour costs and labour availability has noticeably worsened. In the fierce competition for qualified employees, tube manufacturers are called upon to sharpen their profile as attractive and flexible employers with a meaningful sustainability strategy," underlines Aegler.
Persistent inflation may be limiting consumers' purchasing power, but the tube is extremely popular with consumers as a practical, lightweight and easy-to-use package. It has also proven to be an anchor of stability in the FMCG world during the past years of crisis.
"Despite still challenging political and economic conditions, the industry's outlook for the first half of 2023 is good due to the solid order intake situation. Overall, the industry is looking ahead to the coming months with a good dose of optimism," Aegler sums up.