The UK composites industry faced unprecedented challenges during 2021, the most exceptional and severe in its history. Market demand remains high and coupled with reduced supply, this continues to keep material prices at rates never previously seen across Europe and Globally.
Key factors in keeping material price high:
- High demand for manufacturing, combined with reduced supply continues – there is no slack in the supply chain.
- Despite a temporary drop in oil price during November, this has rocketed again and is now higher than it was in October 2021. The oil price has doubled since January 2021 – Brent Crude Oil latest price chart
- There are still global transport issues around delays and shipping costs remain astronomically high.
- Shortage of logistics staff and HGV drivers especially for the transport of hazardous goods, related to the high number of individuals forced to self-isolate due to Covid and the ongoing impact of EU-Exit in the UK.
- Other industries are competing for the same limited supply of material.
The impact is across all resin systems and speciality chemicals, as well as glass and carbon fibre, and as such affects all parts of the composites industry.
Reports suggest that material prices will remain high through the first part of 2022 and the global shipping issues may not be resolved until 2023.
It should be noted that material shortages and price increases are not limited to the composites sector:
- Engineering thermoplastic prices rose 28% in 2021
- Standard thermoplastics saw a 70% increase in price during 2021
- The price of concrete rebar is up almost 43% what it was 12 months ago.
- Steel prices hit record high in 2021 and are forecast to remain elevated through 2022
- Timber prices were 48% higher in Sept 2021 than the previous year
For more information on raw material prices for the composites sector:
- Tecnon Orbichem
- Independent Commodity Intelligence Services
- Composites UK member resources – Material Supply Information
News articles covering the issue: