While still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, since January 2021 the plastics processing sector has been facing a new challenge: raw material shortages and concomitant price increases.
Vinyl Films and Sheets Europe VFSE, the association representing the interests of European suppliers of PVC sheets, films and foils. the association has sounded the alarm about the continuing stream of force majeure declarations from European raw material suppliers. According to the association, the situation has led to a serious shortage of raw materials, which is now threatening to disrupt the production of its members.
The problems are not confined to Europe: a similar situation soon unfolded in the US and in other countries as well. As a result, it has become extremely difficult to import raw materials from elsewhere.
While the members of VFSE are committed working towards the economic recovery of the industry in Europe, the current situation is putting a strain on these efforts. Its members are striving to continue to meet their commitments to their customers, supported by the VFSE. Meanwhile, the association is asking all the value chain stakeholders to assume greater responsibility and to exercise vigilance regarding the declarations of force majeure from raw material suppliers. If the shortages continue, problems in the supply of plastic products could very soon occur.
The association is furthermore calling for monitoring of the situation by what it refers to as ‘competent bodies’ to mitigate the short-term impact on the market of European plastic-converting products.