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Positive signs for beverage packaging market but uncertainties remain

By Guy Montague-Jones , 15-Sep-2010

Major uncertainties continue to make it difficult to predict a recovery in the global packaging market for beer and soft drinks, according to Canadean.

Working with figures for volume of beer and soft drinks consumed, the beverage market research firm had predicted that the global market would dip 0.4 per cent in 2010 after recording growth of 1.3 per cent in 2009.

But there have been some signs of recovery in beer and soft drink volumes so far this year, suggesting that the 2010 forecast may be beaten.

Canadean analyst Stephanie Coleman told BeverageDaily.com that some markets are considerably more positive in the latest forecasts than they were at the end of Q1. In particular, full year forecasts for Russia have been revised upwards following growth in Q2.

Uncertain times

But the analyst added a word of caution. Not all markets have been moving in a positive direction and plenty of uncertainty remains, even in those that are. Russia, for example, is still considered an extremely volatile market making it difficult to count on a continued recovery.

While market data for 2010 may show signs of recovery, Coleman said: “The final figure will depend a lot on what happens in the very volatile Russian market, just how quickly markets like China continue to grow and also the weather around the world, which can have a big impact.”

Packaging materials

Breaking down the beverage packaging market by material reveals some significant changes in the fortunes of different products. In 2010 Canadean expects PET to continue to be the major growth material in terms of volume.

In 2004 PET already accounted for 41 per cent of the beer and soft drink packaging market and it has since increased its share to 46 per cent. Canadean forecasts predict that in 2010 PET will nudge its share up to 47 per cent.

Both glass and metal have suffered at the expense PET over the past five years but in 2010 it is metal that is predicted to take the biggest hit. Canadean predicts 0.3 per cent growth for glass and a decline of 2.9 per cent in the volume of metal packaged drinks.

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