Development of Steel Drum Industry in Some Asia-Pacific Countries in Recent Years
In 2021, Japan has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, except for China and Europe. In terms of per capita production, India is relatively small compared to other countries. The Japan steel drum market was originally used for oil in 1960 and is now about 85% used for chemicals. The average specification for 2022 is 1.2/1.1/1.2 mm, with a unit weight of 23.0 kg.
The total production of 200 liter steel drums in China in 2022 is about 121 million, which is lower compared to the production statistics in 2021, with a decrease of nearly 10 million. According to the data of large and medium-sized steel drum companies, the number of large and medium-sized group companies is increasing, and the scale of medium-sized steel drum companies has basically formed. The four large steel drum enterprise groups with more than 5 million are still dominant, and the total production is basically the same as last year. Last year was 31.81 million, and this year is 31.5 million. However, between 2022 and 300–400 million/year, 200–300 million/year, and 100–200 million/year, the grades are becoming more and more refined. The total number of steel drum companies with an annual production of 1-4 million has decreased, but the total production has decreased. Last year was 23.2 million, and in 2021 it was 30.98 million. The main reason is that the epidemic and other factors such as packaging, such as tonnage boxes, plastic packaging drums, etc., have affected the supply of raw materials, resulting in the closure of some chemical and related companies or the inability to produce normally. In addition, other packaging items have impacted the steel drum market. Compared with steel drums equipped with steel drum closures, they are low-cost and conducive to recycling. Last year, the total output of the steel drum industry continued to stabilize for many years, and for the first time, there was a significant negative growth.
The GDP growth for the 2022 fiscal year is expected to be 1.6%, while it was 9.9% for the 2021 fiscal year. The Indian government plans to increase crude steel production from the current 150 million tons to 300 million tons by 2030.
The steel drum production has recovered from 10.6 million drums in the 2021 fiscal year to 11.3 million drums, and is expected to increase to 11.9 million drums in the 2022 fiscal year and 12.9 million drums in the 2023 fiscal year. The number of new steel drum manufacturers recognized by SDAI is 73. India does not have large manufacturing equipment like Graver or Mauser. The largest is Balmer Lawrie, which has 7 factories, and other companies generally have only one factory. On the other hand, the Indian market is dominated by plastic drums, which are larger than steel drums, accounting for about 55%. 70% of drums are 1.0 mm thick. 80% of drums are open-top. Due to the use of fruits such as mangoes, guavas, and papayas, the internal-coated steel drums are 77% higher than other countries. Open-top drums are also more commonly used for oils and paints, due to their low cost and easy recyclability. This creates a need for a quality drum seal cap to ensure the safety and efficacy of the contents within.
In the first half of 2022, the steel price fluctuations were at their peak. The costs of paint, steel, electricity, fuel, and transportation are still high, leading to a shift from steel drums to plastic drums. The cost increase caused by the sluggish demand in the export market and the poor performance of the chemical industry may be due to the geopolitical dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
Sakamoto emphasized the speech prepared by Sittisathananchai that there was a reduction of 4 million units in 2022 compared to 2021. More than 80% are closed-top drums. About 60% are chemicals, and 10% are unique and similar foods from Thailand and India.
The thickness of the original steel drums over 0.7/0.9/0.9 was 70%, which dropped to 50% last year, and the open-top steel drums at the top and bottom, with thickness of 1.2/0.9/1.2 and 1.0/0.9/1.0, are heavier.