VITRY-SUR-SEINE, France—Difficulties in sourcing raw materials, price pressure and the ongoing logistics complications have become "a major concern" for French rubber processors in recent months, the Syndicat National du Caoutchouc et des Polymères (SNCP) said.
Pressure around raw materials supply has been building since the start of the year, with high prices leading to "a consolidated inflation in the sector" and the outlook remaining uncertain, the French association said in a May 3 statement.
SNCP identified styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) as the two materials with the highest price increases since the start of the year, posting 21 percent and 17 percent increases, respectively. Nitrile rubber prices have surged 14 percent over the first three months of the year.
"The (price) increases have been violent and accompanied by further delays in deliveries, under-allocation and multiple cases of force majeure," the association said.
SNCP linked the current challenges mainly to raw material producers, who are struggling to regain pre-COVID levels and cope with the rebound in demand, particularly in Asia.
Furthermore, "very strong tensions" on the logistics side, in particular marine shipping, have added to the supply chain woes.
The ongoing difficulties, SNPC said, have weakened a recovery trend observed at the end of 2020, with processors feeling the impact on their margins and delivery times.
SNCP called for constructive dialogue and a search for balanced solutions between suppliers and processors in the rubber and tire industry.