American beer industry trade group The Beer Institute marked Beer Can Appreciation Day last week by calling attention to what it sees as a lack of transparency in the aluminium market.
Accompanying the press release was a short video produced by the Beer Institute illustrating the point.
Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of the Beer Institute, elaborated upon the challenges the beer industry faces when sourcing aluminium for beverage cans.
“America’s brewers purchase more than 36 billion aluminum cans every year, and aluminum is the most significant input cost for our nation’s beer industry. Due to a combination of tariffs and an obscure aluminum pricing system known as the Midwest Premium, brewers who support more than 2.1 million well-paying jobs across the United States have seen their aluminum costs skyrocket. On Beer Can Appreciation Day, Beer Institute urges beer enthusiasts across the nation to call their elected leaders and urge them to vote for increased transparency in aluminum benchmarking and pricing that follows American market principles.”
Per the Beer Institute, the lion’s share of aluminium used in the production of beer cans is either recycled aluminium or is imported from Canadian smelters. Both sources are subject to the Midwest Premium, which the Beer Institute notes more than doubled since the Trump Administration’s implementation of blanket 10-percent tariffs on aluminium from foreign sources.
In addition, the Beer Institute notes that brewers continue to pay the full “tariff paid” premium on the entirety of the aluminium sheet they purchase. The Beer Institute estimates that, in the period from March 2018 to July of last year, the United States’ beverage industry paid an extra US$458 million on aluminium purchased for use as beverage cans. During that time, the United States government collected only 16 percent, or US$73 million, of that total.