The European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) launched a strategic alliance for polymer supplies across the continent during its recent general assembly in Warsaw.
The alliance was formed in response to a recent series of force majeure declarations by some of the leading European Union polymer suppliers.
Since early March, the EU polymer industry has declared force majeure on 34 occasions which the association says has driven polymer prices to levels not seen in the past decade at a time when oil prices are still relatively low. The EuPC has been monitoring the overall situation since 2010.
“We hope that polymer producers in Europe will reinvest current margins in the aging European production sites in order to maintain a credible European polymer base to serve the plastics converters in a sustainable manner,” said EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis. “Europe drives innovation in plastics packaging and thinking in waste management. Investment here safeguards global markets.”
The alliance will stress the need for more dialogue and “long-term vision” in the polymer supply chain and also push for a suspension of EU import duties on polymers which are not being supplied in “sufficient quantitites” in Europe.
The recent spate of force majeure declarations from polymer producers has triggered a rising tide of concern across the plastic industry about material supplies.
In April, the European Compounders and Masterbatchers Association (EuMBC) said it had been alerted to 11 cases by its members, while the four largest national organizations representing the plastics packaging industry in Europe — Elipso (France), IK (Germany), the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and the Packaging And Films Association (Pafa) — also called on the region's polymer producers to invest urgently in production facilities.