2006-2007 Cans Market: Main Indicators and Trends

The Russian market of cans is developing at a fast pace. In 2000 through 2007, the domestic output of cans in the Russian Federation grew by 43%. The increase in the output of tin plate packing is closely connected with the canning industry growth rates.

Cans are used in various industrial sectors: approximately 61% of cans are used in the food industry, while 39% are used for packing various building materials and chemically active liquids.

The 2007 structure of cans consumption by sectors is represented in the diagram below.

Source: Abercade Research Company

The cans consumption structure in the food industry is as follows: 38% are used in the production of canned fish, 20% - in the production of canned vegetables, 16% - in the production of preserved milk products, 12% - in the production of canned meat, 7% - in the production of decorative packing, 6% - in the production of animal fodder, and 1% - for other purposes.


At present, there exist two cans production technologies: lead-alloy brazing and electric welding. Until 2000, all Russian enterprises produced composite cans according to the old technologies where tin plates were rolled up, and seams were folded and brazed. In the USA, utilization of such cans was forbidden in 1995 and in Europe – at the end of 1990s, because it had been proven that lead contained in the braze alloy can get into the canned products. After that all Western manufacturers started using electric welding. The seam quality greatly improved; it became smooth and could only be protected by a polymer food film. In Russia most enterprises still use braze alloys.

Production of modern cans in Russia started in 2002 when the first can-producing enterprise was opened in Kaliningrad Province.

The volume and the structure of cans output in the Russian Federation in 2006-2007 are presented in the diagram below.

Source: Abercade Research Company

In Russia, cans for the food industry are mostly produced for canning meat and fish; about 80% of canned vegetables are produced in imported cans. Due to this fact, the geography of cans consumption is rather limited: main consumers of Russian-made cans are Kaliningrad, Leningrad and Murmansk provinces as well as Krasnodarsky and Primorsky territories.

A peculiarity of the cans market is that almost all manufacturers of condensed and concentrated milk produce their cans themselves. This is explained by the fact that the technology of cans production for the milk industry is the simplest one. Milk is not aggressive towards tin, and therefore needs no varnishing. Few meat-packing factories produce their own tare, and fish- and vegetable-canning enterprises produce no tare for themselves at all.


The past few years have witnessed a decrease in cans import, which is explained by the opening of large modern enterprises producing cans in the Russian Federation as well as increasing import duties on cans, which resulted in considerably higher prices on imported cans. In 2006-2007, the cans import dropped by 40.8%.

In 2006-2007, the volume of cans import in terms of money dropped by 8.6%.

In 2007, the largest volume of import came from Ukraine. Ukraine’s share in total 2007 imports constituted 65.7%. Major importers are also Poland, Korea and Lithuania, with a share of 19.3%, 5.3% and 4.1% respectively. The group of “others” includes countries whose share in the imports is no more than 0.3%.

Source: Federal Customs Service; estimates: Abercade Research Company

Cans are imported into Russia for canning foodstuffs and packing chemically active substances. The chemical industry generally uses large cans, while the canning industry uses small cans with a capacity of up to 1 liter.

Source: Federal Customs Service; estimates: Abercade Research Company


Due to a sharp increase in import duties on cans and the growing demand in the domestic market of the Russian Federation, the export of cans is not large. In 2007, it decreased by 2.7 times.

The rating of countries, into which Russian-made cans were exported in 2007, is presented in the diagram below.

Source: Federal Customs Service; estimates: Abercade Research Company

In 2007, the volume of cans export in terms of money decreased by 59.5%.


The Russian cans market is developing at a fast pace. In 2000-2007, domestic production of cans in the Russian Federation increased by 43%. The increase in cans production from tin plate is closely connected with the canning industry growth rates.

It should be pointed out that most Russian can manufacturers as well as enterprises with their own lines packing their products into the tin tare use outdated equipment and can-producing technologies. The share of enterprises producing modern cans is not large, but it is increasing.

Besides that, in the past few years the market has been strictly regulated by the state, which resulted in decreasing cans import but at the same time encouraged active financial investment into expanding cans production in Russia. A negative aspect of public interference is a considerable increase in prices on cans in 2007.

An important factor is that the structure of cans consumption by the canning industry has recently been changing: the share of expensive canned foods packed into modern cans with easy-open lids is increasing while the share of cheap canned foods (cans for which are produced according to outdated technologies) is decreasing.

According to expert estimates, in 2008 cans consumption will increase by about 4-5% and the total consumption volume will reach 4,050,000,000 cans.


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