The trade group European Plastic Converters (EuPC) has sounded a clear warning about the current situation on the raw materials market for the European converters.
The trade organization called current material shortages and related price escalation unlike anything seen in the industry before.
Not only does the situation threaten the economic survival of numerous molders, already heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also it is jeopardizing 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.
Manufacturers 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 Marsh, 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 reduced plastics production levels in the U.S. linked to winter storms.