Each year, EuroPUR, the European flexible polyurethane block makers’ trade body, commissions a report on the state of play in the sector from Angela Austin of Labyrinth Research & Markets. There were dramatic developments in 2017.
Flexible polyurethane foam production in Turkey was higher in 2017 than it was in Germany, Austria and Switzerland put together for the first time.
It is further evidence that the balance of the European flexible foam industry is moving from its traditional heartlands of the old EU. The numbers are striking.
In total, 1.374 m tonne slabstock was produced in the EU 28 plus Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the Balkans in 2017.
‘Of this, about 1.3 MT was polyether slabstock. Around 82 kT was polyester last year. This is a surprisingly large amount,’ Angela Austin of Labyrinth Market Consultants told the EuroPUR 2018 meeting in Krakow, Poland.
She said that the spectacular growth in Turkey turned on three things. First, the country eliminated VAT on new domestic furniture and bedding; there was also a cut in VAT on office furniture to 8% in 2017. Those tax breaks drove the sale of new products.
Secondly, the country’s economy revived as normal business conditions returned to Turkey in 2017. This followed a year of political turmoil in 2016.
Finally, Turkey is well positioned geographically and culturally to benefit from growth in the Turkic countries to its east through the Turkic trade council.