London - The London Olympics, the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet, are expected to boost aluminium drink cans consumption in host-country the UK to around one billion units, market participants told Fastmarkets.
“Sports events always provide an uplift in demand for take-home sales and for the last (football) World Cup in South Africa (in 2010), estimates are that it would have been about three billion units [of cans] for all markets,” said John Nutting, editorial director of The Canmaker magazine.
An aluminium can weighs about 15 grams on average and 120,000 tonnes of aluminium will be required to meet the demand for the London Olympics.
The Coca-Cola Company – the world’s largest beverage maker and also an official sponsor of the London Summer Olympics - is expecting to serve around 23 million drinks during the eight-week sporting event – the Paralympics take place in late-August.
“In order to meet increase domestic demands, Coca-Cola has built up its filling capacity with a new high-tech canning line at its plant at Sidcup, Kent,” said Nutting.
Some 95 percent of Coca Cola drinks for London 2012 will be made in the country at their six UK manufacturing sites.
Corresponding to strong drinks demand, overall aluminium can sales have also been boosted by the event as 75 percent of global beverage cans are made of the light metal.
“All the can producers are sold out this year,” an industry source said. “Cans are flying out of the door.”
Aluminium traders have also noted the strong performance in the rolling industry, which produces coil for beverage cans.
Although beverage-makers have high sales expectation for these sporting festivals, “the actual figures are hard to nail down because the demand for drinks cans is influenced by the seasons,” said Nutting.
Rainy weather can result in lower drinks and can sales as people are generally less thirsty in cooler temperature.
Still, with the wettest June on record in the UK, ”sales have been pretty robust despite the rain [last month],” said the industry source.
Nonetheless, some market participants remained sceptical about increased drink cans demand for the sporting event.
“If can consumption will be below expectations because of cool temperatures in this summer as we have been seeing so far, then the Olympics might have no impact at all,” said another industry source.
According to data from the Can Makers Association, the UK is the largest market for drink cans in Europe and total can shipments for carbonated soft drinks, beer and cider reached 9.449 millions unit last year.