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Belgian plastics and rubber industry confronted by sharp resin increases

March 27/2012

(Federplast) -- After a strong year 2011, the Belgian plastics and rubber industry is confronted by sharp resin price increases. Maintaining margins is priority number 1 for the near future.

More expensive energy and resources will stimulate in the long term the demand for plastics. At its general meeting,, the Belgian Association of Manufacturers of Plastic and Rubber Products, released the results of a survey of its members.

The production volume of the plastics and rubber industry in 2011 experienced a growth of 3.7%. For 2012, 40% of general managers foresee future growth while nearly 1/3rd expect stabilization. Employment increased by 1.6 %. In the first 2 months the prices of commodity plastics such as polyolefins and polystyrene increased by 11 to 16 %. As the raw materials are by far the biggest cost factor for plastics and rubber converters, these increases will in general lead to higher prices for all kind of plastic and rubber products .

The plastics and rubber converters recorded, after a growth of 5.7 % in volume in 2010, a further growth of 3.7 % in 2011 and even of 13 % in turnover. Although employment has grown by 1.6 %, 86 % of the businesses managers expect stable or decreasing employment for 2012.

The Belgian plastics and rubber processors fear a significant erosion of margins due to the sharp increase in polymer prices. Since the beginning of the year, the prices of commodity plastics have risen steadily, from 11 to 16 % in only 2 months time. The explanation lies in the price evolution of oil and naphtha (+27% since October 2011) and the strengthening of the dollar compared to the euro.
Author:Anna Larionova
Category:General News
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