BRUSSELS (March 16, 12:55 p.m. ET) — European plastics processors are still coming under increasing pressure, with raw material prices increasing 20 percent since December, according to the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) trade association.
“There has been a sharp upswing in prices across the board for most polymers, commodity and engineering, and this is both seriously compromising processors with their customers as well as threatening profitability,” managing director Alexandre Dangis said in a statement.
For some companies, up to 70 percent of their selling price is accounted for by raw material costs, hampering their international competitiveness, he added.
The key problem is the price of oil.
“Whilst we are some way off the peak prices of early 2008 when oil reached $150 a barrel, over most of last year they rose again, hovering above and below $100 per barrel and now we are about $125 (Brent Crude at mid-day on 13th March),” Dangis said.
European industry has also faced several force majeure declarations in Europe and some refinery and steam cracker failures.
Plastic processors will have to pass on the sudden price increases, EuPR said.
The announcement comes only a few days after France's Fédération de la Plasturgie said its members are facing material price hikes of up to 17 percent because of producers announcing force majeure.
Since 2011, French plastics converters have faced material price increases of 17 percent for polypropylene, 16 percent for high and low density polyethylene, 12 percent for ABS and 9 percent for PVC, according to the association.