Canadian Plastics

European flexible packaging manufacturers “very concerned” about polymer shortage and price development

The Flexible Packaging Europe association blames force majeure declarations, maintenance announcements, and price increases by European polymer manufacturers for creating sudden and significant shortages.

February 4, 2021   Canadian Plastics

In a recent statement, the members of Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) association say they 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,” FPE officials said. “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.”

Guido Aufdemkamp. Photo Credit: Flexible Packaging Europe

Examples are all kind of packaged foods, pet food, personal and household care products, FPE said, with both small and medium sized manufacturers and multinational companies of flexible packaging suffering from this situation of the insufficient raw material supply causing increased complexity in the production schedules of FPE’s member companies.

“We are concerned about this unfortunate situation which appears like a repetition of the first half in 2015,” said Guido Aufdemkamp, FPE’s executive director. “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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FPE’s members manufacture all types of flexible packaging. FPE comprises more than 80 small and medium sized companies as well as the major European producers of flexible packaging for all materials. These companies cover more than 85 per cent of the European flexible packaging turnover. FPE is headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany.


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