By Liz White
After a difficult year in 2009, when production of foam plastics and polyurethanes in Europe fell by up to 30 percent in some areas, the FSK, Germany’s association for foamed plastics and polyurethane, says it expects significantly better results in 2010.
But, at the same time, the association warns that rising prices for raw materials and energy cause concern, and “clearly threatens the tentative economic upturn.” “We expect 2010 to see a sales volume of the industry of around €18 600 million ($11 151 million), and a level of around 1.7 million tonnes of processed plastics and polyurethane foam in Germany,” predicted the association’s managing director Dr Hans-W. Schloz, at the FSK annual meeting in Stade, Germany, 8-9 Sept this year. This is a 13-percent volume rise from the 1.5 million tonnes of foamed plastics produced in 2009.
According to the FSK, in 2009 Germany processed about 30 percent of the Western European market total for foams made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene — both expanded and crosslinked types (EPS and XPS) — melamine resin foam, polyvinyl chloride foam, rubber foam, and polyurethane.
Total revenue in the German plastics foam sector for the year 2009 was about €7000 million, and the 1.5 million tonnes was, “well below previous year’s levels,” the FSK noted.
Polyurethane forms some 45 percent of the 1.5 million tonnes of foamed plastics made in Germany in 2009, with EPS forming 28…