EuPC has sounded a clear warning about the impact of the current situation on the raw materials market for the European converters.
The trade organisation, which represents the interests of Europe’s plastics converters, called today’s shortages and concomitant price escalation unlike anything seen in the industry before.
Not only does the situation threaten the economic survival of numerous SMEs - already heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also jeopardising the production of countless products, ranging from applications in the building and automotive industry to essential goods for the food packaging and pharmaceutical supply chains.
Manufactures across Europe have experienced serious supply bottlenecks since the beginning of this year.
“Europe is a net importer for polymer raw materials and is therefore above-average vulnerable to market disruptions,” said Ron March, chairman of the Polymers for Europe Alliance.
He explained that the current shortages were the result of the improving global economy, combined with exports of plastics from Europe to Asia and North America. These problems are currently being compounded by logistical problems - a shortage of containers to Europe - and the lower plastics production levels in the USA.
“Furthermore, the demand for certain raw materials used for protective articles against COVID-19 is extremely high. In addition, we see an unprecedented great number of declarations of force majeure,” he said.