European tube market continues to remain stable

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the European Tube Manufacturers Association (etma) reports stable deliveries in the first half of 2021. Total deliveries of aluminium, plastic and laminate tubes increased slightly by 0.5% to a level of around six billion units.

While deliveries to the pharmaceutical industry fell by 11%, deliveries to the dental care market increased by 4%, to the cosmetics market by 2% and to the markets for food and household products by as much as 10% and 13% respectively.

The significant decline in deliveries to the pharmaceutical sector is due to fewer visits to doctors during the pandemic. 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%, closely followed by aluminum tubes with 35%. The share of plastic tubes is 27%.

The tube industry is still sometimes confronted with drastic increases in the cost of raw materials, primary materials and services. The prices for aluminium, 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.

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