Brussels – Europe's flexible foamers supplying the furniture and mattress industries now estimate that April production could be down between 30% and 90% with retail outlets closed across the continent.
Online sales of mattresses and beds are holding up, said EuroPUR in its latest survey of the sector. But the Association added that this is 'not compensating for drastic drops in demand elsewhere.
Currently mothballed plants may be shipping foam from stock to meet the small level of demand.
Although EuroPUR suggests overall flexible polyurethane foam production could be down anywhere between 60-70% across Europe, there small glimmers of hope.
One bright spot is foamers reporting that exports of technical foams to Asia have restarted. At the same time some foamers are preparing to restart to supply automotive customers. Several OEMs have suggested they may start around 20 April and have asked their suppliers to get ready. EuroPUR believes it is 'quite uncertain that this planned timeline can be met.' This is because of the highly integrated nature of automotive supply chains.