London – The rubber industry is seeing a sustained round of price increases on key raw materials along with energy surcharges and limitations on supply, reports from the industry indicate.
Processors are reporting average increases of over 10% across the full slate of materials and ingredients they purchase, with much higher increases on certain individual polymers.
EPDM, HNBR (hydrogenated nitrile rubber) and fluoroelastomers are among the materials most commonly cited by companies reporting issues with the rising costs and supply.
However, the ability of processors and compounders to pass on these increased costs seems limited, amid slow and uncertain demand from the main end-user market sectors.
While some markets, including medical, food and consumer, are relatively stable, others particularly automotive – stymied by ongoing microchip shortages – are said to be pushing back on previous order commitments.
Trends around sustainability and vehicle electrification, meanwhile, appear to have led to structural changes in the synthetic rubber supply-chain overt the past 12 months or so.
Among other consequences, the situation has led to curbs of the availability of many grades, with EPDM slates said to be particularly affects.
Recent price rises announcements:
Kuraray has raised prices for liquid rubber and Isobam isobutylene water-soluble resins, effective 1 Nov. The price hike of $0.40/kg will apply for both products to cover 'increasing costs.'
Additives supplier SI Group is implementing an energy surcharge across all global products in response to increasing energy costs, including natural gas, coal power and crude oil. Effective 7 Nov and subject to applicable terms and conditions, SI Group will implement varied surcharges, including $205/tonne in Americas, India and APAC regions. The surcharge for products manufactured in EMEA will be €335/tonne.
Dynasol Group is implementing a surcharge of €300/tonne on all synthetic rubber and rubber chemicals products manufactured in Europe. Effective 1 Nov, the price hike is in response to the ‘significant increase’ in energy prices and CO2 certificates, said Dynasol in a 19 Oct statement.
Kraton Corp. is introducing an energy surcharge increase of 250€/tonne all hydrogenated styrene block-copolymer (HSBC) products manufactured in Europe as of 1 Nov. In a statement 18 Oct, the US supplier cited the “recent and unprecedented” price increases for natural gas, electricity and CO2 certificates, which it said was “substantially affecting” the production cost in our HSBC plant in Berre, France.
Wacker Chemie AG is increasing prices for polymeric binders and resins as of 1 Nov, due to “continuously rising energy, raw material and logistics costs.” The Munich-based chemical group announced 18 Oct that it intended to introduce a 20% increase in prices of polymer disper¬sions, dispersible polymer powders and resins. Furthermore, the German group is adding a “temporary surcharge” for dispersible polymer powders in Europe at €590/tonne.
Wacker Silicones announced on 5 Oct that it was scheduling a new round of price increases for its products as costs continue to rise. Effective 15 Oct, the German chemicals supplier increased prices across its entire silicones product range on average by 30% or more. The company introduced price hikes of between 10% and 20% on the same products in April.
Synthetic rubber and elastomers manufacturer Arlanxeo is introducing an undisclosed but significant energy surcharge to all its elastomer products manufactured in Europe, effective 1 Oct. The move is in response to “unforeseen and unprecedented” energy cost escalations in Europe, said Arlanxeo in an announcement 29 Sept.
Orion Engineered Carbons is implementing a carbon dioxide (CO2) surcharge on all carbon black products manufactured in Europe, the company announced 4 Oct. The surcharge, the amount of which was not disclosed, will come into effect 1 Jan 2022 and is in response to the fourth trading phase of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), which it said had resulted in “additional costs based on direct CO2 emissions for the carbon black industry.”
Denka is raising prices for acrylic special rubber marketed under the brand “Denka ER”. The price hike of “more than $1,000 (€846) per tonne” will come into effect 21 Sept, said the Japanese materials supplier in a statement 7 Sept.