Food

The lack of tin-free steel raw material hits the packaged food business

As a result of the acute shortage of tinplate / tin-free steel material, which is mainly used to make cans and containers for packaging processed foods and fruits, the processed food packaging industry is feeling the crisis.

The small businesses that pack fruit and other processed foods have complained that the government is unable to meet demand for tin cans and containers. This is the season for mango pulp processing and packaging.

There is a shortage of cans and simple open ends, however, which affects the way mango pulp is packaged, especially for export, as we did earlier, said a Maharashtra-based company that is in the mango pulp business. Packaging operates. The Maharashtra Mango (Alphonso) is world famous and the pulp is in great demand worldwide. However, the shortage of tin cans has had an impact on both supply and packaging.

Another company that deals with processed cheese packaging has complained that the price of steel and tin containers is suddenly rising and availability is also an issue. Most of the companies that make tin containers are small businesses and have not been able to meet demand because we heard there was a lack of raw materials to make cans. Not only the food industry but also the other sectors that are the end users of the tinplate / tin free steel containers have complained that they are not getting the required amount of containers and that everything that is available is expensive.

On July 17, 2020, the Indian government imposed a BIS standard for the import of tinplate / tin-free steel / products such as easy-open ends, peel ends, etc. The implementation has now been extended to July 17, 2021. Few exporters of tinplate from other countries have turned to the BIS for registration and verification of their installation. Due to the conditions of Covid, all such requests have been postponed by the BIS.

This has resulted in these essential materials being virtually non-imported, resulting in a shortage of tinplate containers. Most of the suppliers from Jan, Korea have already raised their hands to deal with BIS compliance as no one wants to travel to India to get the BIS. Conversely, BIS employees cannot move out of the country to check the BIS plants of tinplate manufacturers in these countries.

According to the representation of the Metal Can Manufacturers Association, an industry organization that deals with the interest of can manufacturing (metal packaging industry) at the Ministry of Steel, the country has a huge gap between supply and demand. The domestic product is limited to 4 to 4.5 lakh tons compared to the total demand of 7 lakh tons. On average, 2.5 lakh tons of demand is met by imports from Jan, Korea, China and other countries which are the mass producers of tinplate / tin-free steel / products like simple open ends / peelers etc.

Sanjay Bhatia, President of MCMA, said, “The industry is ready to meet and adopt the BIS standard. However, at this time it is not possible for global suppliers and even the government to accelerate the BIS process. 3 leading international suppliers of tinplate / tin-free steel have applied for the BIS. However, it has been more than four months since no action was taken regarding their BIS application. “

The industry, which is the main source of packaging for processed foods, pesticides, paints and other related industries and employs more than 100,000 people, feels helpless as neither suppliers are willing to ship material to India without BIS certification nor are there enough Domestic availability of tinplate / tin-free steel / products.

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