“During the last couple of months this situation has dramatically deteriorated in a manner which could not be foreseen,” he said. “Depending upon the technology base of the product, the raw materials prices have increased by between 20 and 70 percent. This is not expected to improve as demand in rapidly developing economies increases. This is an unprecedented situation in Europe, and many powder coatings companies are experiencing difficulty in maintaining full supply. AkzoNobel Powder Coatings enjoys a strong global position which has so far enabled the consistent supply of product but even we are now beginning to face real problems with the availability of raw materials.”
AkzoNobel Powder Coatings has worked hard over the last two years to aggressively attack its own cost base, according to MacLeman, which has resulted in radical restructuring. Over the last 18 months the firm has downsized a number of factories and has closed two production units, as well as taking significant job losses in the non-manufacturing part of the business.
“While we will continue to save cost in all business areas we have no choice but to recover some of the many raw material increases,” he said. “Unfortunately we believe we will see continued shortages and raw material price increases for a number of years to come. We must act now to protect our customers’ supplies and to ensure the survival of our company and the industry.”