The trenchless industry is suffering the consequences as supply shortages of epoxy, polyester and vinyl ester resins continue. The shortages have wreaked havoc on many sectors and have been caused by various factors including U.S. winter storms.
According to Gardner Intelligence chief economist, Michael Guckes, in his latest Composites Fabricating Index column, supply chain difficulties continue to restrict and reduce production.
Since the pandemic began, global supply chain shortages for many products have been impacting various industries. These shortages have worsened due to pandemic-related and economic issues in transportation, increasing demand and labor shortages.
The increasing demand and supply chain challenges are also causing major scarcity of epoxy resins, leaving marks of devastation on the trenchless industry. Demand is being driven by large sectors of the global economy opening after COVID-19 shutdowns.
And while prices continue to escalate, ongoing disruptions are also impacting downstream manufacturers and unfortunately, it will take time for these issues to be resolved.
Lack of supply and increase in demand are driving up prices. Beginning in late 2020 with multiple fires and explosions at Asian resin manufacturing plants and the ensuing scrutiny on regulatory practices, followed by the historic cold snap that hit Texas and the Gulf states in early 2021, production shortages are widespread.
On top of many other obstacles, a lack of containers and clogged shipping lanes, the global supply chain is experiencing elevated logistics costs. Steady gains in crude oil pricing are also impacting key raw materials including epichlorohydrin, phenols, and solvents.
Because of the epoxy resin shortage, downstream manufacturers are having to delay their own production. The issues have been widespread with a survey from Composites World showing that 64 per cent are advising their customers about potential delays, 41 per cent are searching for alternative suppliers, and 38 per cent are looking for substitute raw materials.
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