FRANKFURT, Germany—German rubber processors see themselves increasingly in the grip of turbulent raw material markets as supply remains tight and prices continue to rise, according to the German rubber industry association WDK.
The supply situation for important industrial raw materials is "tense with no improvement in sight," while prices are "rushing from one high to another," WDK warned in a April 14 statement.
According to WDK's chief economist, Michael Berthel, the supply chain issues and the price developments, especially for rubber raw materials, is "the operational challenge of the hour for companies in the sector."
"In my more than 20 years in the industry, I cannot remember a comparable situation," Berthel said, noting the severity of the international raw material upheavals.
"The coincidence of bottlenecks, allocations, the multiple cases of force majeure, logistical difficulties and multiple, short-term and heavy surcharges for almost all raw materials should be historically unique," he said.
The industry "can hardly keep up" with the development, he said, adding that WDK's statistical evaluations on the price development of important raw materials need to be adjusted "on a daily basis."
More importantly, Berthel warned that the situation remains tense both in the logistics sector and in the supply of raw materials, with "no prospects of any early mitigation."
The logistics service providers, he said, currently expect "tight ship capacity, massive traffic jams in ports and terminals and bottlenecks in transport by truck, rail or inland waterway."
On the supply side, the petrochemical precursors upstream of the rubber raw materials have shown "extreme price surcharges of up to 130 percent in the year to date."
These developments, he said, will "weaken" the recovery of the industry.