Despite the ongoing pandemic, the european tube manufacturers association (etma) reports stable deliveries in the first half of 2021. The total deliveries of aluminum, plastic and laminate tubes even increased slightly by 0.5 percent to a level of around 6 billion units.
While deliveries to the pharmaceutical industry fell by 11 percent, deliveries to the dental care market increased by 4 percent, to the cosmetics market by 2 percent and to the markets for food and household products by as much as 10 percent and 13 percent respectively.
Pharmaceutical market weakens with otherwise solid demand
The significant decline in deliveries to the pharmaceutical sector is due to fewer visits to doctors during pandemic times. This goes hand in hand with a falling demand for prescription drugs, which are often packaged in tubes. The somewhat livelier demand for cosmetic tubes can be attributed to the increasing mobility of consumers who are going out more often after the hard lockdowns. The reopening of hairdressing and beauty salons after the temporary closings caused by the pandemic also had a positive effect in this segment. The food and household sectors benefited in particular from the fact that consumers ate more food at home and generally had a greater focus on the well-being in their own four walls.
In terms of deliveries by etma members, laminate tubes continue to take the top position with a share of 38 percent, closely followed by aluminum tubes with 35 percent. The share of plastic tubes is 27 percent.
Drastic cost increases, but stable supply chains
The tube industry is still confronted with sometimes drastic increases in the cost of raw materials, primary materials and services. The prices for aluminum, plastics, paints, printing inks, closures, cardboard boxes and transport are still at a very high level. On the positive side, however, it should be noted that the supply chains have held up so far, also due to far-sighted planning by the tube manufacturers. In this way, out-of-stock situations for customers could be avoided.
The issue of sustainability, which is fueled by legal measures in Europe and the Member States, continues to play a central role for packaging manufacturers, customers and retailers. Here, too, the tube can score as consumer-friendly and resource-efficient packaging.
Overall, the European tube manufacturers are looking to the coming months with cautious optimism