Recap 2018: The year saw significant expansions in beverage can sector; Tariffs created concern

AL Circle

Aluminium is a key part of our daily lives: from cars and planes to cell phones, buildings and food packaging. Aluminium cans are becoming increasingly popular as the pack of choice for soft drink beverages such as tea and juice, which were not traditionally sold in a can. 2018 saw some developments from opening of new plants to companies focussing more about aluminium recyclability in order to bring environmentally-friendly beverages to the world.



aluminium, aluminium cans, beverage cans, recap 2018, aluminium bottle

The companies of the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL) produced nearly 3.3 billion cans in the first half of 2018, representing a growth of about 5 per cent in comparison with the previous year.

In our recap 2018 coverage, we take a look back at the top packaging news from our end user vertical. 

Key Highlights from Aluminium Packaging Sector

Rio Tinto signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nespresso’s capsule manufacturers towards a commitment to use 100% sustainable aluminium by 2020. Nespresso will become the first company to use Rio Tinto’s responsibly-sourced aluminium to produce its coffee capsules.

Aluminium Recap 2018

Constellium supplied its aluminium solution Aeral™ to Moravia Cans for the production of Unilever’s award-winning Dove antiperspirant aerosols. Constellium's Aeral™ is an innovative aluminium solution designed for the production of aerosol containers using Drawn and Wall Ironing (DWI) technology that is currently used to produce beverage cans.

Amcor became the first global packaging company pledging to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. The products include aluminium foils and aluminium cans for the food and beverage industry.

Parkers Beverage Company became the first in New Zealand to scrap plastic water bottles and adopt recyclable cans instead to hold still water products. As cans can be crushed they also take up less space in the recycling process, further greatly reducing the carbon footprint. No alternative comes close to cans," said Parkers Marketing Manager Claudia Weber.

Donald Trump’s 10% aluminium tariff started showing colours in the end user segment. Can makers, breweries and canned vegetable companies that use imported aluminium for product containers were concerned over cost increase and possible price increase on consumers. Some companies even announced a price rise in the domestic market to compensate for the tariffs on imported aluminium.

The Can Manufacturers Institute estimated the aluminium tariff would increase the cost of 115 billion food, beverage and aerosol cans in the US by nearly 1%, or $1.5bn. Notably, 60% of primary aluminium used in beverage cans is imported by domestic producers.

The Beer Institute also projected the tariff would cost beer brewers $347 million per year. That’s nearly 40 billion aluminium cans and aluminium bottles bought by beer brewers in the United States in 2017.

aluminium, aluminium cans, beverage cans, recap 2018

It is estimated that a number of end user industries in the U.S. will end up increasing the cost of their products to adjust Donald Trump's 25% and 10% tariff on steel and aluminium import.

Ball Corporation: A look back at the big announcements

  • Ball Corporation announced the latest addition to the European beverage packaging range with its smallest slim can. The 15- centiliter slim can will be produced at the Naro Fominsk plant in Russia.
  • Ball Corporation won two 2018 Euro CanTech Awards from CanTech International for its metallic Ball-branded aluminium aerosol deodorant can and beverage cans created for Heineken Serbia's Zaječarsko brand. It also received 2017 Asia CanTech Award from CanTech International for its Riya Bindas Mania aluminium aerosol deodorant can for Reacha Cosmetics.
  • The company signed a partnership with Spanish water brand Aguas Minerales de Firgas for the production of 33 centilitre aluminium sleek can aluminium cans for new range of Sou Tea and Sou Tonic drinks.
  • Ball Corporation planned to construct a new beverage can manufacturing facility in Asunción, Paraguay. One-line facility is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2019 and its capacity is contracted under long-term agreements.
  • The company opened aluminium speciality can plant in Spain, with an annual production capacity of 1.6 billion units from two production lines. Cabanillas plant will use 15 percent less energy and 22 percent less water compared to an average plant.
  • Ball Corporation announced it would cease production at its beverage packaging plant in Cuiabá, Brazil, and San Martino, Italy.  
  • In the background of excess beverage cans supply in China. Ball Corporation reportedly is planning to sell its manufacturing facilities in China at about US$225 million.
  • Ball Aerosol Packaging launched a proprietary high-definition printing technique Eyeris to address the problem associated with the translation of graphics to conventional offset printing, and believed to offer photo-realistic packaging designs to aluminium aerosol customers.

New Facilities Announcement

  • Crown holdings announced its plan to build a third beverage can line at its existing plant in Phnom Penh Cambodia. 
  • Britvic announced £100milllion investment in new production lines at its manufacturing site in Rugby. The company has already installed three new can lines at the site. The new can lines are amongst the fastest in the Europe, collectively producing 6,000 cans per minute.
  • Showa Aluminum Can Corporation (SAC) announced the completion of its subsidiary’s new aluminium cans facility in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The plant has an annual production capacity of 700 million.
  • Showa Aluminum Can Corporation (SAC), a consolidated subsidiary of Showa Denko (SDK) and Carabao Group PCL (CBG) jointly held a completion ceremony for new aluminium can plant owned and operated by Asia Can Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (ACM).
  • CanPack inaugurated new aluminium can production line at its Bucharest plant, with an investment of over EUR 50 million. The new line will allow the company to increase its production capacity from 950 million to 1.55 billion cans per annum.

Some Other Highlights of the Year

  • Nampak is reportedly ramping up the production of aluminium cans as a response to customers’ global retreat from plastic. Nampak would spend US$ 7.2 million on a new food-can line in Nigeria.
  • Ardagh Group announced that it had completed the conversion of its Rugby (UK) beverage can manufacturing plant from steel to aluminium.
  • Canowater introduced a brand new edition to its range of environmentally friendly water cans made out of aluminium and specially designed by Christopher Raeburn for London Zoo.
  • Ardagh Group announced a partnership with Stabburet to manufacture lightweight and fully recyclable aluminium can for mackerel filet, a national dish in Norway.
  • Crown Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A. (Crown Brazil) has partnered with Eklo Water to bring the first flavoured water to be packed in aluminium beverage cans in Brazilian market.
  • Ardagh Group manufactured a taller sleek shaped aluminium aerosol can for Nivea. The aerosol aluminium can is 9mm taller than its predecessor.
  • The much-awaited winner list of the World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award 2018 was announced. Nivea Body Mousse from Beiersdorf received a maximum number of votes for its unusual conical shaped can and thus, bagged an award under “cans that are already on the market” category. Another category was “prototype cans” under which Eyeris Fox Can from Ball UK acquired the first position.
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