Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic impeded factory capabilities and sown chaos in desperate buyers, the world has been experiencing supply shortages on every level. From toilet paper to petrol, virtually no industry was safe. An industry that has likewise suffered a shortage blow since mid of 2020 is the world’s plastics industry, with supply disruptions that continue to remain visible to this day.
Surveys report on ongoing polymer sourcing problems and specialized resin shortages
The world’s longest running plastics trade federation, The British Plastics Federation, conducted a business conditions survey1 for the UK plastics industry in January 2022 and the results show only slight improvements. 60% of surveyed companies (88 in total) reported problems sourcing polymer, compared to 80% who were experiencing polymer supply issues in August 2021. After the extraordinary disruptions in the past two years, the turmoil in supply chains for polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), and other polymers has now somewhat calmed, yet remains far from being over. The question on everyone’s mind persists: How much longer is the shortage expected to last for?
Looking at the industry in 2022 through the lens of what we have learned in 2021, resin shortage challenges are likely to cause trouble for many manufacturers, custom injection moulding partners and other supply chain partners. According to AlixPartners’ survey data2, more than 60% of manufacturers were experiencing resin shortages as of September 2021 and the situation is expected to continue until manufacturing capacity catches up with demand.
While some commodity resins have returned to supply-demand-cost balance, specialty resins such as the ones containing glass fibres, flame retardant properties, or UV additives remain limited3. The increased demand for specialized resins, especially in the case of glass fibre, has forced manufacturers into quoting Force Majeure or add surcharges onto orders. However, even if resin production continues to pick up at a slow rate, a shortage of containers, truck drivers, and other transportation equipment might severely limit supplies.
Undisturbed additive delivery with Antimicrobial Solutions Provider BioCote®
BioCote®, the market leading supplier of premium-quality antimicrobial additives to some of the world’s biggest brands and producers of plastic products, has managed to weather the storm during the pandemic by increasing their production capacity, anticipating forward demand, while also increasing the business’ headcount.
David Hall, Managing Director of BioCote®, goes on to elaborate:
As many businesses are forced to curtail their output due to a lack of material or the inability to pass on price hikes, BioCote® continues to deliver undisturbed services to its clients and partners. Whilst some suppliers are quoting 3 to 6 months as lead time, at BioCote® 98% of our 44 different grades of antimicrobial additives are always ex-stock at our Coventry HQ warehouse, readily available to all of the UK plastic processors as well as our customers across Europe, Asia and the US.
BioCote® has been supplying the global plastics industry with proven antimicrobial technology for more than 25 years. With a solidified reputation as “the brand you can trust”, BioCote® has stepped up to offer an immersive partnership that helps to unlock the true potential of each product application treated with BioCote® antimicrobial technology. From marketing, product integration, commissioned efficacy testing, biocidal regulations advice and technical support for their partners, the company continues to help develop unique products for the marketplace and forge strong business relationships.
To find out more about BioCote® and their antimicrobial masterbatch for inclusion in a wide range of polymer materials and product applications, please visit www.biocote.com or contact the BioCote® service team on +44 (0)2477 712 489 or [email protected].
1BPF (2022) Business Conditions Survey: https://www.bpf.co.uk/about_the_bpf/business_conditions_survey.aspx
2Kinzel, H. (2022) Resin Shortage Update: What 2021 may be teaching us about 2022: https://www.kaysun.com/blog/resin-shortage-trends-2022
3Thiruvengadam, M. (2021) Industrial buyers face a resin market with tight supplies, spiking prices: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/resin-costs-plastic-manufacturers-industrial-buyer/605793/#:~:text=A%20domino%20effect%20on%20resin,capacity%20catches%20up%20with%20demand.