Colchester, UK – The UK rubber manufacturing sector has seen a sharp decline in output, recently issued data from the Office of National Statistics shows.
The value of gross production by the industry fell 18% year-on-year in 2017, to £1.95 billion (€2.23 billion), according to ONS figures published last November.
Reviewing the figures, the British Rubber and Polyurethane Products Association (BRPPA), however, saw positive underlying trends.
“Gross value-added, which is the indicator of the real value of the industry – went up a little,” reported BRPPA director John Dorken.
“Employment costs fell sharply reflecting a welcome rise in productivity,” said Dorken, who also pointed to a 27% rise in capex to £66 million.
Meanwhile, the total number of companies in the rubber manufacturing sector remained “broadly the same” at 15,000.
While cautioning about the nature of survey-data, Dorken believes “the ONS figures do show that the fortunes of the sector over the last decade have stabilised.”
The rubber sector, he said, still includes “world-beating” suppliers to the automotive, aerospace, oil & gas, transport and medical industries.
“There is every reason to think we shall continue to compete successfully in the future,“ the BRPPA leader concluded.