Brussels – Raw material shortages and price increases are “seriously impacting” manufacturers of polymer end-products, according to EuPC, the EU trade association for plastics converters.
Converting companies all over Europe are reporting difficulties in getting raw materials needed to keep production running, with stocks at “alarmingly low” levels, EuPC said 5 March.
Demand for polymers had recovered in Europe in the second half of 2020 after a strong drop in production due to the Covid lockdown measures.
But, noted the association, while converters began to re-increase their production, the supply of raw material did not grow accordingly.
“Since December 2020, the situation worsened rapidly,” said EuPC. “Additionally, extreme weather conditions in the US led to production losses also affecting the European market.”
These factors combined with force majeure measures by European producers and shortages of shipping containers, are pushing up prices for polymers to record-high levels.
“If the situation continues like this, more and more companies will have to reduce production, leading to shortages of products such as parts for the construction or automotive industry,” warned EuPC president Renato Zelcher.