Last week, the European Plastics Converters Association, headquartered in Brussels, issued a warning to the effect that an extremely undesirable situation was developing with regard to the force majeure declarations by some of the leading polymer suppliers to the European market. Today, it was the turn of the IK German Association for Plastics Packagings and Films (Bad Homburg) to sound the alarm.
While current IK economic trend figures give grounds for optimism, with German plastic packaging manufacturers predicting a continued upswing for the second quarter of 2015, this positive development is under threat, says the IK. The reason is that major raw material suppliers currently no longer feel able to meet their contractual obligations toward packaging manufacturers. Deliveries that have already been accepted are being cancelled. And when deliveries are made, they are accompanied by significant price hikes, despite continuing moderate crude oil prices. As yet, there appears to be no end in sight to this price spiral.
Besides the export of large quantities of plastics to regions outside Europe such as China, Africa and Central and South America, the latest shortages in raw materials are mainly due to notifications of force majeure.