Freefoam predictions for 2012

Published:  28 February, 2012

UK: As the world throws up news of financial weakness, collapse, threatened collapse, currency swings, Ponzi schemes, and quantitive easing, Freefoam Plastics chairman, Tony Walsh, uses his experience and knowledge to predict what might happen within the plastics industry for the coming year.

  • Growth of 5%+, driven by RMI (Repair, Maintenance & Improvements) as people dig in and enhance the dwellings that they are tied to by the unavailability of loan-finance. New-build will drag on at a low level.
  • Raw material prices will rise over the year, exceeding 10% at the peak but dropping back a bit at the years end. Soaring Ethylene prices and a greater control of the supply chain will allow PVC producers to recoup their costs plus some.
  • Product price increases will stick as people and companies absorb the lessons from the past year and decade with its crazy lose-lose cut-throat competition between matched suppliers. Competition will be fought instead on service issues.
  • Colours will continue to gain market share.
  • As opportunity for further consolidation at the manufacturing level is now very limited, expect a quiet year on that front.

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