Players in the glass and glass product manufacturing industry in Australia operate in two key segments: the glass container segment and the flat glass segment, according to a recent report by Ibisworld entitled “Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing Industry.” The glass container segment is dominated by two local firms, Owens-Illinois Australia and Orora Ltd. (formerly Amcor Glass), which manufacture bottles and jars for packaging beverages and food products. The flat glass segment includes Viridian (CSR Limited), “which is the only local float glass manufacturer, along with many small to medium firms producing a range of fabricated glass products,” said Anthony Kelly, Ibisworld analyst.
The industry comprises about 725 enterprises employing 9,150 people in 2014-15, with about 94% of businesses employing fewer than 20 people. The total domestic market for glass and glass products is forecast at $3.8 billion for 2014-15. Imports are estimated to capture 15.7% of domestic demand, while export earnings contribute 2% of industry revenue. The industry is projected to generate revenue of $3.3 billion in 2014-15, representing a moderate increase by 1.9% on the previous year due to investment into new housing and commercial building construction. “Demand from wine and beer bottling is projected to remain weak during 2014-15,” said Kelly. “The industry is likely to endure deteriorating demand for automotive glass products.”
Over the five years through 2014-15, industry revenue is projected to decline at an annualized 2.5%. This decline principally reflects adverse demand conditions for flat glass products in the housing and non-residential building markets, as well as the shift offshore of automotive glass production. The glass and glass product manufacturing industry derived some stimulus from the demand for glass bottles for alcoholic beverages and premium non-alcoholic drinks. Low-cost imports have steadily captured a greater share of the domestic demand for flat glass products, while local wine makers are increasingly exporting wine in bulk containers for bottling at the end market. Growth over the next five years will be mainly supported by stronger trends in key building markets.