Raw material prices soar
The price of components used in marine paints and resins used in shipbuilding has been increasing steadily for the past two years. According to ICIS Pricing and Technon Orbichem, the cost of epoxy has increased by 20% in Europe and North America and by 58% in Asia and the Middle East. At the same time, the zinc price rose by almost 15% on the London Metal Exchange. "There are regional differences, but prices are clearly rising worldwide," says Michael Hansen, vice president and sales manager of paint and coating manufacturer Hempel.
Hempel raises prices
In a press release published on February 26, 2018, Michael Hansen announced a price increase for Hempel products. "We have done our best in recent months to absorb these price increases and limit their impact on our customers. We work closely with our suppliers, R&D and production departments, but the increase in prices[of raw materials] is a reality and the trend is clearly continuing. We have no option but to increase the prices of some of our products."
Soromap plays on productivity
For Gregory Florin, in charge of exports for Charente paint producer Soromap, price variations can still be absorbed. "There have been increases in a few components. But this remains within an acceptable range. We have increased our rates by a few percent. It is up to us to find the solution and recover the margin through productivity gains. On the other hand, the cost of MA, linked to the new European regulations on biocides, which can reach ?400,000 over 3 years, has a real impact. Some may want to pass it on to the raw materials."
Resoltech: "You can't change prices every month"
Jimmy Renaut, sales manager in France of Resoltech, a French producer of resins for the boating industry, insists on the difficulty for professionals to have a long-term vision. "With the closure of 3 Chinese epichlorohydrin plants, the main component of epoxy, world production has halved. The increase in demand in Asia is pushing European producers to deliver to Asia at a higher rate. Visibility is very difficult today. For the moment we are playing on our margin, but we will have to change our rates by about 10% in March. However, we can't afford to change prices every month!"