by Liz White, editor
Despite the obvious difficulties of doing business over the last year, the German polyurethanes sector is in a positive mood and has seen encouraging developments in sales and turnover recently.
This was highlighted by Dr Albrecht Manderscheid of Cannon Deutschland, opening the seventh international polyurethanes meeting of the FSK eV (Germany’s Specialist Association for Foamed Plastics/Polyurethanes), which he chairs.
“We must think positively,” said Dr W.Alexander Strietholt of Dow Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG, chairman of the FSK’s polyurethane group, reinforcing this optimism.
More than 160 participants at the 10-11 Nov meeting in Würzburg, Germany, heard Streitholt pointing out that, “Now in November, sales are starting to rise,” after a period earlier this year when sales dipped by 20 or 30 percent.
Some PU companies have been bankrupted by the crisis, Strietholt said, but he thinks expertise has stayed within the sector: expertise it needs to continue to innovate.
“I feel very positive we can grow faster than the rest of the market,” Strietholt said, stressing the need for good networking and efficient use of resources. This is more crucial now, he said, as companies become ever leaner, and so rely on fewer experts than before.
The good news is that the most difficult period — from Q4 08 to Q1 09 — is now past, although the FSK estimates that 2009’s figures will show a 25-30 percent drop in German PU…