PLASTIC PACKAGING
IK survey of German manufacturers shows varied coronavirus impacts
German producers of consumer plastic packaging are in some cases reaching capacity limits, while packaging suppliers to the industrial sector are confronted with a considerable drop in demand, according to a survey conducted by Germany’s plastic packaging industry association Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (IK, Bad Homburg; www.kunststoffverpackungen.de). IK in April 2020 asked more than 120 mostly medium-sized companies that are members of the association for a status report on coronavirus-related impacts.

Demand in consumer packaging for food, pharmaceutical and medical products experienced a slight increase in demand, while industrial packaging dropped, especially in the automotive and gastronomy sectors, said IK general director Martin Engelmann. Across packaging segments, 37% of respondents reported fewer orders for their goods in April compared to orders received in March. A quarter of those surveyed registered declines in orders of more than 20% in April, and several companies said the coronavirus pandemic made no difference in their order situation.

In contrast, half of the companies reported more orders in April with most increases in the 10-20% range. However, the positive findings appear to be a snapshot of the order situation. More than half the respondents anticipate a certain (40%) to strong (16%) possibility of a decline in demand. “After frequent panic buying in many places in mid-March, less food and daily necessities are now being stockpiled again. However, the demand for hygiene and cleaning products remains high,” said Engelmann.



Nearly 80% of those surveyed said they are able to fulfil orders, yet approximately half reported staff shortages due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Nearly 40% of the IK member companies surveyed had a shortage of personnel. Almost 25% had to introduce short-term working. A third of respondents reported sick leave rates of less than 5%, while a quarter of the companies cited rates of up to 10%.

More than one quarter of businesses did not record a single Covid-19-related loss of personnel. “Overall the number of employees who are ill or in quarantine or who cannot come to work because of childcare is relatively low in an international comparison,” said Engelmann. He noted that plastic packaging is less affected by the pandemic when compared with other plastics processing sectors.

Some IK member companies are contributing to the fight against the coronavirus outside of their normal course of business, such as with plastic bottles and bags for disinfectants, respirators, protective films and visors. IK has noticed that plastic packaging continues to be perceived more strongly again as indispensable and essential (see Plasteurope.com of 30.03.2020).

Take part in Plasteurope.com’s flash survey on Covid-19 and Europe’s plastics industry by clicking here. The survey is open until 15 May.

14.05.2020 Plasteurope.com [245098-0]
Published on 14.05.2020
IK-Umfrage: Unternehmen zwischen Kapazitätsgrenze und KurzarbeitGerman version of this article...

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