Tin producers, including Tata Steel and JSW Steel, have denied claims of a tinplate shortage due to the implementation of BIS standards for importers. They said that there is sufficient capacity of over 7 lakh ton (lt) to meet national needs.
The Indian Tinplate Manufacturers Association (ITMA) said that the tinplate production capacity has increased from around 4 liters to 7 liters in the past two years, while the demand for tin packaging fell from around 6 liters to 5 liters due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
Activity area recently reported that many manufacturers of small and medium-sized metal containers were cutting production due to a shortage of tinplate.
RS Sodhi, general manager of the Gujarat Milk Marketing Cooperative Federation (Amul), also said supply chain disruptions would become more acute, especially for those with limited raw material bandwidth. Amul uses tin cans to package ghee, cheese, and other milk-based diet drinks, which are in good demand during the festival season.
Respond to the Activity area tinplate shortage report, ITMA sent a letter to Sodhi, stating: “While we appreciate the current problem of obtaining BIS certification for imported premium products due to the ongoing pandemic … implementing the BIS standards for tinned products is the right step to ensure that the right quality is available to domestic can manufacturers.
ITMA has three member companies Tinplate Company of India (a subsidiary of Tata Steel), JSW Steel and its subsidiary Vallabh Tinplate.
Most tinplate manufacturers have had to go out of business because of the rampant importation of low-quality and defective tinplate for use in food packaging, an official at the steel company said.
However, Sanjay Bhatia, president of the Metal Container Manufacturers Association, said that although tin makers claim to have sufficient capacity, they are operating at only 50-60% capacity and have not supplied more than 4, 5 liters in the domestic market.
The woes of the packaging industry
“MSMEs need non-premium for non-critical items, but it’s not available at all. The metal packaging industry needs a fair deal, ”he added.
Sodhi said that being a local brand, Amul always prefers domestic sourcing at a reasonable price and if there are any difficulties, this should be settled out of court.
“Our intention is to serve customers in the best quality packaging. Amul’s ghee, condensed milk, beverages and baby food are best served in tinplate packaging, ”he added.