Polymer prices on an upward spiral, says trade group

Polymer prices are expected to increase this month, according to trade organisation IK.

IK represents plastic packaging manufacturers in Germany.

In a statement, the organisation said that prices for some polymers increased by more than 30% in the first quarter of the year

“And an end of this upward price spiral is still not in sight,” said IK in a press release.

It said that polymer suppliers “have announced further drastic price increases for April”.

The latest IK Economic Trend survey showed more than 80% of respondents expect raw material prices to increase further in the second quarter of 2012.

A lack of availability is a problem for many packaging companies. Almost two-thirds of IK members said there are supply shortages for certain polymers.

IK also voiced concern about the survey finding that 43% of German packaging companies had received one or several Force Majeure announcements from their upstream suppliers.

IK said: “According to IK managing director Ulf Kelterborn, there is definitely some doubt about whether all of these Force Majeure announcements are legally sound. In some cases they refer to technical outages where an unexpected outside influence is not visible.”

However, the IK Economic Trend survey showed optimism among companies about their economic development in the second quarter. Around 30% expect improved turnover, and 52% expect the situation to at least remain the same. Exports are also expected to be better than in the first quarter.