The tense feedstock situation and the competitive environment greatly pressured Swiss plastics processors, said KVS president Doris Fiala. Although the country’s most important domestic producer, Ems Chemie (Domat / Switzerland; www.ems-group.com) raised specialty and engineering capacities (see Plasteurope.com of 27.09.2011), this pales in comparison to the massive new standard thermoplastics capacities going on stream in the Middle East – and geared mostly at the Chinese market.
KVS said the sector’s performance was also impaired by rising energy costs, emphasizing that access to reliable and cheap electricity is becoming increasingly important as plastics companies choose their future operation sites. Companies are also burdened by the country’s social security network, taxes and the need to cut down on bureaucracy. The association highlighted that faced with a lack of trained personnel, the sector’s survival was dependent on free movement, adding that any restrictions on personal mobility constituted an existential threat.