The European Automotive Trim Suppliers (EATS, Brussels, Belgium) association, which produces decorative and functional surface materials for vehicle interiors, says it foresees an increase in prices for polymer-based vehicle interior parts starting this month. Recently elected EATS President Roland Andersson says, The two main reasons for this are the increasing raw-material prices following from high energy and oil prices, which have, in turn, lead to significantly higher prices for ethylene and propylene used [to manufacture] plastics products.
He also says the primary materials for manufacturing plasticizers for foam vinyl laminates and PVC synthetic leather have also escalated in prices recently. In a sector where raw materials account for up to 70% of the selling price, the influence of oil prices is high, Andersson says. Andersson also points out that fast-growing plastics industries in China and India are leading to even higher demand and associated jumps in polymer costs. Besides warning about upped material prices, he says processors can expect supply shortages of automotive-interior grades during 2008 since resin manufacturers cant keep up with demand.[email protected]