Aluminum can consumption increased in the US when COVID-19 forced bars and restaurants shut, and more people to enjoy their favorite drinks at home.
According to the Aluminum Association, can stock—the sheet sent to can makers—shipments from producers to US markets rose by 7.6pc in May to 313mn lb (141,974mt), but exports declined by 14.8pc to 18.1mn lb, indicating demand most likely soared in the country because of stay-at-home orders.
Meanwhile, domestic can stock producers shipped 331.2mn lb in May to aluminum can producers in the country, increasing by 6.1pc from 312.2mn lb during the same month a year ago. Shipments also rose by 6.7pc over April when 310.5mn lb was shipped. Through the first five months of 2020, 1.5bn lb were shipped, marginally declining by 0.8pc.
According to a joint statement from the Aluminum Association and The Can Manufacturing Institute, there was already “unprecedented demand” before the pandemic began—production rose by 8pc in Q1 2020 from a year ago—but can sheet shipments increased significantly at the height of mass lockdowns in May.
Another reason for the soaring demand is more beverage companies are eschewing plastic bottles for aluminum cans because the latter is environmentally sound and has the highest recycling rate among all beverage packaging material.
In fact, market participants told Davis Index that all used beverage cans (UBCs) stocks have been bought up until August, indicating a shortage of the material or that more UBCs will not be generated until next month, reflecting the popularity of these cans with recyclers as well as beverage companies.