Canadian craft brewers scramble for aluminum cans – by Marcy Nicholson (Reuters U.S. – July 31, 2018)

CALGARY (Reuters) – Canadian microbreweries are facing a shortage of cans and higher costs, forcing some to cut beer production after the country imposed retaliatory import duties on U.S. aluminum imports in the busy summer season.

Though Canada is the world’s third biggest aluminum producer and cans are made in the country, beer makers also rely on the import of more than 2 billion cans annually, largely from the United States, Statistics Canada data shows.

So when Canada struck back at the United States’ tariffs on aluminum imports on July 1, and included cans, some craft brewers received notices of higher prices due to the duties while others have been unable to secure their usual supply of aluminum cans.

“It seems like no one has cans to sell,” said Steve Beauchesne, co-founder and chief executive of Beau’s Brewing Co in Ottawa, which sold a quarter of the 6.5 million liters (1.7 million gallons) of beer last year in cans.

“Whether it’s tariff-related or not, clearly some large producers have greatly underestimated their demand so that the suppliers were caught off guard and unable to provide it,” he added. Beauchesne, who declined to name his supplier, expects to run out of cans by mid-August, with their next delivery not expected until September at the earliest.

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