Brussels – EuroPUR has announced that foam plants are now operating again across Europe. The plants that closed in April reopened progressively in May, it said.
Interviews carried out by the association indicate that the industry showed a much stronger and faster recovery than anticipated. ‘Production was effectively down 30-40% compared to the same month last year,' it added.
The group added that the recovery looked stronger in June, with most plants planning to produce about 80% or more compared to the same month in 2019.
Plants in the UK and Russia, which are reopening between two and three weeks behind the rest of the continent, perform less well. The situation is similar in Spain and Portugal, although it varies from plant to plant, EuroPUR said.
Although companies are happy to reopen plants, their customers are asking for longer to pay. Manufacturers are also dealing with reduced export credit guarantees.
Foam producers are facing difficulties in planning beyond July because of a lack of forecasting. It is not clear whether the fast restart is a result of supply chains refilling, or longer-term demand from consumers.
A lot will depend on whether European consumers have been saving during the coronavirus lockdowns, and whether they will divert money earmarked for summer holidays into home improvements, new furniture and bedding.