About 3,000 Indian aluminium utensil manufacturers have been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery timeline is anyone’s guess.
With a prohibition on public gatherings dating back to March 22, countless weddings were canceled or postponed, thereby reducing aluminium utensil demand from caterers.
The Federation of All India Aluminium Utensils Manufacturers (FAIAUM) estimates that around 450,000-500,000mt aluminium utensils are manufactured each year, but it will drop by 30-40pc this year. The aluminium utensil industry consumes 90pc of utensil scrap, in addition to imported taint/tabor scrap and EC grade primary ingots, and the production decrease will affect demand for the raw material, declared FAIAUM.
Brijmohan Agarwal, FAIAUM’s president, said utensil manufacturers in eastern, western and northern India are struggling to resume production because laborers have yet to return to work, and that demand for utensils, among other things, is at a low because the summer season was devoid of weddings.
Agarwal added that utensils are offered as gifts during wedding season in India, which is also a time when caterers use bigger utensils. As these activities came to a standstill, demand for utensils dropped considerably.
The utensil manufacturing sector’s revival cannot be predicted, especially because social gatherings will still be proscribed to some degree, said Agarwal.
This is the second such blow to aluminium utensil industry in India. FAIAUM had previously complained about 10pc drop in demand for aluminium utensils after a social media post linking aluminium utensils to Alzheimer’s disease made the rounds.