Europe facing grim prospects for a shortage of materials

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“In addition, the demand for some raw materials used for COVID-19 protective items is extremely high. In addition, we are seeing an unprecedented number of force majeure declarations,” he said.

EuPC chief executive Alexandre Dangis said the shortages had affected raw materials ranging from commodities to special additives essential to the manufacture of plastic compounds and products.

“The severe market disruptions currently occurring across Europe are a symptom of the structural imbalance in Europe between local production and demand for raw materials and additives. Without restoring this balance, periodic reappearance of a serious disruption of the production chain is very likely, ”he said.

The shortages have dramatically increased the cost of production and in some cases threaten to shut down manufacturing altogether.

Recent surveys of plastics processors in several European countries have shown that more than 90 percent are affected by the supply crisis. Many have already been forced to cut production and accept little or no new customers, so that they can honor existing agreements.

Switching to recycled materials is in many cases not an option due to current legal safety regulations, technical barriers and quality requirements. In addition, recycled resins are not available in sufficient quantity and of consistent quality.

Where recycled material is an established alternative, prices increase significantly on them as well as on nearly parallel virgin material, and availability decreases.

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