Up and down, the seesaw adventures of steel and polymer

I’m not writing a packaging-related children’s book, don’t worry. But with the current climate in the industry, anything is possible!

Steel and polymer are key components in manufacturing IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers). And IBCs are one of our most popular product lines. So this explains why I’m often studying the steel and polymer indices.

Looking at the steel indices this week, the price of steel continues to see some big monthly jumps in price, not faltering in a downward direction since the early summer last year. Prices per tonne have doubled!

Whilst in contrast, after months of weekly rises in the polymer indices, for the first time since January, we saw the cost of polymer drop. It was only by two points but – it was still a drop. Could this be the first sign of prices stablising? Maybe, maybe not… in January we also saw a promising four point drop. Back to today and we’re at just a few points under £1,700/tonne. It’s difficult to predict.

There’s still speculation that the price of polymer will continue to rise until the summer months. Can anyone really be confident in their predictions when we are in such unchartered waters, especially against the backdrop of so many force majeures?

Packaging price rises are not the only challenge the industry is facing, lead times are increasing like never before. Stock shortages and high demands are putting immense strain on the supply chain process. To aid PurePac during these demanding times, we are incessant in the use of our bespoke stock forecasting software along with daily communications with our customers. At my last count, PurePac had over 2,500 IBC units on order…..with these only lasting a matter of weeks. 

I do hope this is another positive sign in that the wheels of manufacturing are notching up a gear, moving forward and revving high.

What do my industry friends think, any thoughts?





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