O-I said business is slowly improving as it navigates the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s largest container glass manufacturer gave an update in its second quarter financial performance last week.

While quarterly shipments were down in mid-May, volumes have gradually increased since then, said CEO Andres Lopez.

“As expected, the second quarter has been negatively impacted by temporarily lower shipment levels and production curtailment as we balance supply with demand and comply with governmental health decrees in certain markets,” said Mr Lopez.

Globally, its daily shipments in tonnes fell 18% in the quarter compared to last year, primarily due to the pandemic.

Sales volume trends improved from mid-May as markets gradually reopened, while Mexico and South America markets have just begun to reopen.

At the pandemic’s onset, O-I adjusted supplies to meet lower demand which resulted in the closing of some capacity.

O-I said it predicts full year 2020 sales volumes to fall 5-to-10% compared to last year.

O-I began a temporary salary reduction for certain executives and directors and a wage deferral programme for other salaried employees.

It also recently started a reduction-in-force programme as part of an expense reduction strategy designed to simplify O-I and improve decision-making.

The company also suspended its dividend and share repurchases to focus on debt reduction.