Warehouses empty after plastic market’s perfect storm

From Resin Squeeze Hits Plastics Makers, Hurting Autos and PPE (Bloomberg):

At the root of the problem lie a series of factors ranging from plants being shut down, the winter storm in Texas and the global shortage of shipping containers — which got thrown off their usual routes due to the pandemic. Add to that the strong economic recovery in Asia and demand for consumer goods in the U.S., and companies are at pains to secure supplies.

Derived from crude oil, base chemicals ethylene and propylene, are the building blocks of plastics.

More than 80% of packaging manufacturers face that problem, Germany’s IK sector body said earlier this month. General Manager Martin Engelmann termed the situation “dramatic.”

“It has gotten so far that the warehouses are empty and the first businesses are unfortunately forced to stop production because there’s not enough raw materials. And that’s particularly unfortunate because demand is high — not just for food but also the automobile sector or furniture,” he said.

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