In 2019, the European tube industry managed to expand its overall production again. The member companies of the European Tube Manufacturers Association (etma) increased their production by one percent to almost 11.5 billion tubes. Demand was mainly driven by sales of laminated tubes.

The result for 2019 reflects not only the capability and innovative strength of our industry, but also the growing popularity of the tube with European consumers as a modern, functional, consumer-friendly and sustainable form of packaging,” said Gregor Spengler, etma’s General Secretary.

According to etma, stable demand from the dental care, pharmaceutical and food sectors had a particularly positive effect last year. In contrast, the cosmetics sector tended to be flat, but still remains by far the most important market for tubes. It accounts for around 45 per cent of all production. It is followed by the markets for toothpaste and the pharmaceutical sector, each of which has a good 20 per cent. Almost 10 per cent goes into the food industry, with household products and technical/industrial applications accounting for the remaining five per cent.

The production of tubes grew by 1% in 2019

The production of tubes grew by 1% in 2019

Sales of plastic and aluminium tubes each fell by around three per cent. In contrast, laminate tubes performed extremely well, with an increase in sales of just under eight per cent, which kept the overall tube market on a satisfying course of growth in 2019.

What for 2020?

The first quarter of 2020 has also started quite well, however the global corona crisis is giving rise to considerable uncertainty. “It’s not possible at this stage to make any sort of serious forecast for the coming months because of the fragility of the global supply chains and the fact that conditions in general can change quickly and dramatically at any time,” added Gregor Spengler.

The trade organisation notes that, in many countries around the world, the packaging industry has been identified as a key element for the supply of food and hygiene goods.

In times of crisis like now, packaging ensures that society’s basic needs are met. Besides the food sector, the medical/pharma sector is naturally also relevant in times of crisis. Both sectors are core markets for the tube industry,” said etma. “European tube manufacturers will be doing their utmost to make a reliable contribution towards ensuring that the supply of these essential products to the population continues to run smoothly during these turbulent times.