Vitry-sur-Seine, France – The Syndicat National du Caoutchouc et des Polymères (SNCP) has highlighted its ‘very serious concerns’ over the raw material supply issues facing rubber manufacturers.
Pressure around raw materials and indeed all supplies has been building since the start of 2021, said a 23 March statement from the French tire and rubber industry association.
February contract prices for butadiene had increased by 53% compared to three months earlier, while Brent crude and ethylene prices rose by 35% and 11% respectively.
The problems, it stated, are largely due to a ‘complex situation’ that has emerged with the disruption of the global supply following the 2020 pandemic.
‘These tensions translate into shortages coupled with price increases,’ according to SNCP, which described the situation as “critical for many rubber processors.”
‘Delays in delivery, allocations, multiplication of cases of force majeure, logistical difficulties […have] come at the worst possible moment for the French rubber industry,’ it added.
They are, it said, likely to weaken the ongoing recovery and limit the industry’s ability to meet the needs of sectors such as transport, defence, construction, energy and even hygiene/healthcare.
SNCP went on to call for ‘constructive dialogue and a search for balanced solutions between suppliers and processors in the rubber and tire industry.
The ‘automotive industry platform’ (PFA), in partnership with other industrial federations, had already started raising awareness among manufacturers, the association noted.
SNCP will publish its quarterly report on purchase prices for raw materials, fillers and rubber compounds in mid-April. This ‘barometer’, it said, will quantify the scale of current increases.