European Flexible Packaging manufacturers concerned about polymer shortage and price development

The members of Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) are very concerned about the recent developments of the polymer markets in Europe.

In very short period the manufacturers of flexible packaging were confronted with an increased number of ‘force majeure’ declarations or ‘maintenance’ announcements by the leading polymer manufacturers in Europe creating sudden and significant shortages along with price increases in the supply chain.

The effect on converters means they may have difficulties in supplying finished products to meet their customers order requirements, particularly in the food and beverage sectors. Those have an increased demand to serve the European population during the pandemic with its many lockdowns. During times when canteens and restaurants are mostly closed, and more adults and children are working and studying from home European consumers depend on a safe and stable supply of food and beverage products. Almost half of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) excluding beverages in the European Union are packed with flexible packaging. Examples are all kind of packaged foods, pet food, personal and household care products.

Both small and medium sized manufacturers and multinational companies of flexible packaging are suffering from this situation of the insufficient raw material supply causing increased complexity in the production schedules of FPE’s member companies.

Guido Aufdemkamp, FPE’s Executive Director, commented on the recent developments: “We are concerned about this unfortunate situation which appears like a repetition of the first half in 2015. The shortening of production capacity with different reasons and arguments in such a short period seems either the test or use of market power. In particular after 2015 our members would have expected continuous investment in and regular maintenance of the ageing European polymer production facilities.”

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