Shipments of beverage cans in the US – the world’s biggest market – fell by 2.6 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same period of 2010.

Soft drinks can shipments fell the most, by 3.4 percent to 13.76 billion, while cans for alcoholic drinks were down 1.1 percent to 7.67bn, according to the latest figures from the Can Manufacturers Institute, which represents the canmaking industry in the US.

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