WASHINGTON (April 12)— A German supplier told its customers it can´t assure it will be able to supply neoprene latex after April 30.
PolymerLatex GmbH sent a letter to customers March 24, saying that plant closures, low profitability and other problems meant it couldn't guarantee neoprene latex supplies after that date, although it will try to do so.
"This situation is already leading to severe shortages and significant price increases," PolymerLatex said. "Our own supplier has terminated the supplier relationship and is now demanding price increases up to 100 percent."
Company representatives have been meeting face-to-face with customers, and one of them—Tim Killian, president of Akron-based Killian Latex Inc.—said he is confident that PolymerLatex can continue providing neoprene latex through the spring and beyond. "I can't imagine their leaving the market," Killian said.
A spokeswoman for another major neoprene latex supplier, DuPont Performance Elastomers L.L.C., said her company is not having any problems meeting customer demand for the product.