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Strategic Alliance launched in response to threatened erosion European polymer base

As European polymer supply shortages continue unabated, the plastics converting industry has decided to take a stand. To that end, EuPC, the leading EU-level trade association, launched a Strategic Alliance for Polymer Supplies in Europe during its General Assembly in Warsaw on May 22, 2015.

This Alliance was formed in response to a recent spate of force majeure declarations by some of the leading EU polymer suppliers, which has led to very severe shortages of material on the European market. ''The unavailability of certain grades of polymers and record polymer prices have forced some converters to close production lines. The situation will continue to worsen if nothing is done,” explained Alexandre Dangis, EuPC Managing Director.

The new alliance was established by EuPC members, who are extremely unhappy with the current situation and intend to prevent this from happening again in the future.

What is the current situation? Since early March 2015, the EU polymer industry has declared force majeure on 34 separate and consequent occasions and exacerbated an already tense situation on the EU polyethylene and polypropylene markets. As a result, polymer prices have soared, reaching levels not seen in the past decade, at a time when oil prices are still relatively low. The outlook for June is more of the same.

The plastics converting industry is a major EU employer and source of growth in Europe, employing more than 1.7 million employees and generating an annual turnover in excess of €280 billion.

However, in order to continue this success, the plastics converting industry needs more dialogue and long-term vision in the polymer supply chain and a prompt suspension of EU import duties on polymers that are not being supplied in sufficient quantities in Europe.

"We hope that polymer producers in Europe will reinvest current margins in the ageing European production sites in order to maintain a credible European polymer base to serve the plastics converters in a sustainable manner,” said Dangis.

“Europe drives innovation in plastics packaging and thinking in waste management. Investment here safeguards global markets.”


TAGS: Materials
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