Warnings have been issued of ‘severe and immediate disruption’ to the global supply of laminates, leading to likely shortages this summer.
The message came from glass merchanting business Mackenzie Glass, which said major disruption to the supply of PVB laminates in the US had created a global shortfall, which was now manifesting itself in lower availability of security and acoustic glass.
This is compounded by further disruption to supply caused by the recent blockage of the Suez Canal and the exponential growth in demand for laminate products from the automotive industry, home improvement and new build sectors.
Mackenzie joint MD Mark Herbert said that glass processors and IGU manufacturers should ‘brace themselves’ for a summer of shortages:
“I’d like to be able to say that we won’t be affected but our supply of laminates is already limited and that’s going to get worse before it gets better” he said.
“The positive is that we have strong partnerships and a number of different suppliers and we’re in a position to support our established customers and to take on a limited number of new ones.
“But we are on allocation from our suppliers and are applying the same restrictions to our customers as part of our onward supply agreements to prevent stock-piling and make sure that the product is there to go around.
“Laminates have been a foundation for the industry’s growth. It’s key product and so widely used in IGU manufacture. There is a genuine anxiety out there about supply”.
He concluded: “We’ve been working very hard with our own partners to secure supply and while we are going to face the same pressures as everyone else, have a degree of confidence that we will be able to maintain supply to those customers who are loyal to us and may have some additional capacity.
“But things have become very challenging in a comparatively short period of time and there are some tough decisions that are going to have to be made.”