Tinplate makers refute supply shortage claims

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on September 07, 2021

Say production capacity enough to cater to domestic need

Tin producers, including Tata Steel and JSW Steel, have refuted claims of short supply of tinplate due to implementation of BIS standards for importers. They said there is enough capacity of over 7 lakh tonne (lt) to cater the domestic need.

The Indian Tinplate Manufacturers Association (ITMA) said that tinplate production capacity has increased to 7 lt from about 4 lt in last two years while tin packaging demand has fallen from about 6 lt to 5lt due to economic slowdown amid the pandemic.

BusinessLine had recently reported that many small and medium-sized metal container makers are cutting down on their production due to shortage of tinplate.

RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul), had also said the supply chain disruptions will accentuate further, especially for those with limited raw material bandwidth. Amul uses tin cans for packaging ghee, cheese and other milk-based health drinks, which see good demand during the festival season.

BIS standards

Reacting to the Business Line report on tinplate shortage, ITMA has shot off a letter to Sodhi, stating, “While we appreciate the current glitch in getting BIS certification for imported prime products due to the ongoing pandemic... implementation of the BIS standards for tin mill products is the right step to ensure that the right quality is available to domestic can makers.”

The ITMA has three member-companies Tinplate Company of India (subsidiary of Tata Steel), JSW Steel and its subsidiary Vallabh Tinplate.

Most of the tinplate manufacturers had to shut shop due to rampant import of non-prime and defective tinplates for use in food packaging, said a steel company official.

However, Sanjay Bhatia, President, Metal Container Manufacturers Association, said though the tin manufacturers claim that they have enough capacity they operate at only 50-60 per cent capacity utilisation and have not supplied more than 4.5 lt in domestic the market.

Packaging industry’s woes

“MSMEs need non-prime for non-critical items but that is not available at all. Metal packaging industry needs a fair treatment,” he added.

Sodhi said being a home-grown brand Amul always prefer domestic supply at a reasonable price and if there are difficulties it should be sorted out amicably.

“Our intention is to serve customers in best quality packaging. Amul’s ghee, condensed milk, breverages and baby food are best served in tin packages,” he added.

Published on September 07, 2021

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