FEIBP General Assembly 2021 – Raw Material Market Reports

Scroll for reports from:
  • Steel Wire – Holger Kruse, Gustav Wolf GmbH
  • Vegetable Fibres – Urte Rietdorf, Friedrich Platt
  • Bristle – Reinhold Hoerz, DKSH
  • Fine Hair – Mark Samuel, Mark Samuel Trading
  • Thermoplastic Polymers – Andrew McIlroy, Perlon

Steel Wire – Holger Kruse, Gustav Wolf GmbH

The European Union is the world’s second largest producer of steel after China. China’s market share is increasing every year and its export balance dropped significantly from 2019 to 2020 as a lot of their steel is now being used within domestic markets which, indeed, is the same for nearly every kind of material.

Steel prices have more than doubled in the period from 2015 to 2021 and will likely increase in future with rising transportation costs and when factoring in the increasing costs of CO₂ emissions which were last year at 25€ per tonne, currently stand at 53€ per tonne and look set to increase to 105€ per tonne in 10 years.

Vegetable Fibres – Urte Rietdorf, Friedrich Platt

Urte reiterated what previous speakers have stated in saying that the vegetable fibres industry has been impacted in the same way as in other sectors due to the ongoing pandemic, the shipping cost price explosion and also by climate issues.

Assessing each type of fibre individually showed small differences in the availability, quality and price.

Tampico availability has suffered due to recent droughts leading to unhealthy and insufficient plant availability; a problem that Urte expects to be around for some years to come. Because of this, prices have risen and there have been customer order backlogs. However, the material that is available is of good quality.

Bahia Piassava from Brazil is currently very popular and both availability and quality is very good. The problem with this particular product has been the instability of the Brazilian Real whose fluctuating exchange rate has led sometimes to daily price drops of up to 3%.

For Sherbro from Sierra Leone, Urte said that her company currently has good supply but that they don’t have additional information regarding the bigger picture.

The main factors affecting the supply of Palmyra from Asia have been the disruptions in supply due to COVID, the shortage of trained manpower and climate change. Despite this, availability and quality are quite good but prices are rising.

Cocos has been readily available, of good quality and prices have been stable except where transport costs are concerned.

Arenga from Indonesia has suffered from climate changes in recent years but 2021 has seen good weather conditions for plants so the outlook for the next period is optimistic. Prices are rising here too, as manpower becomes increasingly hard to find and wages rise.

In summary, material is available providing transportation containers are also accessible. At the moment the overall situation for vegetable fibres is quite stable and Urte hopes that this remains the case.

Bristle – Reinhold Hoerz, DKSH

Reinhold explained that whilst pig breeding in China becomes increasingly large to meet demand for meat, the pigs that are being raised are not the right sort for bristle and traders have to rely on traditional sources of supply such as the small mountain farmers with old fashioned breeding methods.

Natural bristle is still available, but the bigger picture shows demand to be shrinking as the utilisation of mixtures and pure synthetic High Imitation Bristle filaments increases.

Chinese power supply shortages, possibly due to China’s research into the best way to reduce CO₂ emissions, has led to the intermittent shut down of many suppliers, thus disrupting supply. Because of these interruptions alongside late shipments due to congested ports and the loss of ocean vessel capacity, the industry has seen a clear revival of warehousing which was previously shunned for reasons of cost.

Regarding the outlook for the short-term future, some bristle factories are expecting better quality raw hair in 2022 as farmers try to delay the slaughter of pigs in anticipation of higher pork prices.

Fine Hair – Mark Samuel, Mark Samuel Trading

The past year has again been dramatic in the world of fine hair with sable prices hitting unprecedented levels. For example, in 2017 Chinese dressed sable cost on average $2,500. In 2020 that rose to $4,500 with a further huge hike to the $10,000 we see today, said Mark. Similarly, European dressed sable prices have trebled from $5,000 to $15,000 with the longer lengths selling for roughly $18,000! Mark surmised that “with every boom a bust will presumably follow, but it’s hard to know when and I am not at all sure we’ll see much of a decline”.

Demand has slowed as prices have risen and brush makers can find substitute synthetic materials for most artist and cosmetic brushes. For certain applications however, sable is irreplaceable, and demand continues to outstrip supply. Supply is limited due to the lack of demand for furs and the various restrictions in the trading of animal-by-products in China. Prices too have been kept high because of the demand in China for calligraphy brushes.

Mark said that in addition other fine hair prices are also rising, notably squirrel hair that has seen increases of 20-30% this year alone. Prices for other hairs such as pony, goat and ox are all rising, even though demand has dropped drastically because dressing factories are closing, and labour is hard to find.

Thermoplastic Polymers – Andrew McIlroy, Perlon

According to Andrew, absolutely nobody could have predicted the current situation 12 months ago. Last year had been a relatively quiet year for oil and plastics with prices low, little demand no problems with availability. At the time, he said he was expecting things post-COVID to return to roughly 2019 pre-pandemic levels. In actuality, prices have witnessed increases of between 25% to 50% compared to the norm.

With such low demand in 2020, the big chemical companies didn’t produce as much which took an awful lot of polymer capacity out of the market from polypropylene all the way through to the higher-end materials. As a result of the jump in demand which occurred from around November 2020 onwards, nobody was prepared and there have since been significant consequences.

There have been, due to the ongoing freight situation, shortages of base raw materials (the salts and chemicals which go into the various plastics) which are mostly produced in China.

From around March to May 2021, planning became impossible: customers were able to place orders with their suppliers and, whilst accepted, no prices or delivery times were confirmed. Prices rose sharply, affecting not just filament production but also for any other application that uses plastics, particularly injection moulding.

The period from July to August saw a slight drop in demand as is usual over the summer and availability improved. Even then, prices didn’t reduce.

Since September, the industry has once again been confronted with major supply issues and further prices increases.

Andrew said that whilst oil is not necessarily a main driver of polymer pricing, for certain polymers it is. Oil prices have increased by 30% in the last 3 months and currently stands at around $85 per barrel as opposed to the previous norm of $60. Andrew suggested that oil could go well over $100 per barrel and, as long as these rises continue, this will not have a positive effect on polymer prices.

Natural gas prices have doubled since May 2021, affecting manufacturing and the domestic consumer alike. Some suppliers quote this increase as the reason for needing to raise their prices.

Overall, all materials have seen massive astronomical price increases and availability has been poor. Individual details for each product can be seen on the slides that will be available shortly.

The outlook, said Andrew, is not entirely clear, with various factors affecting what happens with polymer pricing as outlined below:
  • Ongoing post-COVID recovery
  • Increasing energy prices
  • Automotive industry demand
  • Freight situation / availability of raw materials from China
  • Environmental & sustainability concerns
Related Articles
Brushware Industry in Focus as FEIBP, ABMA and Bolognafiere Wrap Up the New World Brush Expo to Resounding Success
FEIBP at World Brush Expo 2024 | Change of FEIBP Secretariat
Organizers' Welcome to World Brush Expo Bologna 2024
ABMA Convention 2024: FEIBP President Alessandro Acquaderni's Address
FEIBP Congress Update: Unveiling Ibiza's Natural Wonders & A Peak at Our Keynote Speaker!
Embrace Your Inner Hippie at the FEIBP Congress Flower Power-Brush Night!
World Brush Expo 2024: Online Ticket Shop OPEN! Secure your attendance today!
FEIBP is Heading to Ibiza! Congress 2024 Update
Latest Highlights and Upcoming Ticket Sales for World Brush Expo 2024
FEIBP Congress 2024: Your Next Office View Awaits in Ibiza!
64th FEIBP Congress: Early Registration Offer!
World Brush Expo 2024 Update from FEIBP President
63rd FEIBP Congress in Belfast: A Great Experience
Brush Expert 63rd FEIBP Congress Report
63rd FEIBP Congress | 20 – 22 September 2023 | Belfast – Northern Ireland
FEIBP European Brushware Federation Update
FEIBP Update May 2023: 63rd FEIBP Congress Details, World Brush Expo 2024 Information and Invitation to Bürstenmacherfest
Save the Date! World Brush Expo: 22 to 24 May 2024 | Bologna, Italy
World Brush Expo Details Coming Soon: Opt-In to Receive Email Notifications
SAVE THE DATE for World Brush Expo: May 22-24, 2024
FEIBP 62nd Congress - July Update
Invitation to the 62nd Annual Congress of the European Brushware Federation (FEIBP)
62nd FEIBP Congress Confirmed: Hotel Grandior, Prague (Czech Republic) | 21 to 23 September 2022
ABMA Annual Convention 2022: Report from FEIBP President, Andrew McIlroy
FEIBP General Assembly 2021 – Keynote Speakers
FEIBP General Assembly 2021 – Working Group Reports
FEIBP Online General Assembly 2021 Report
FEIBP April Newsletter: FEIBP Congress Postponed to 2022 / FFB at Festival International des Jardins
FEIBP Newsletter January 2021
FEIBP Virtual Congress 2020 Review
FEIBP Newsletter: Impact of COVID-19 on the European Brushware Industry
62nd FEIBP Congress - 10 Reasons to Attend
FEIBP Announces the Postponement of the 62nd FEIBP Congress to 2021
FEIBP Launches 62nd FEIBP Congress Website
FEIBP Congress 2019 – Lucerne, Switzerland – Brush Expert Report
61st FEIBP Congress: Last Call for Registration
61st FEIBP congress 26-28 September Lucerne (Switzerland), Newsletter July 2019
61st FEIBP Congress - 26-28 September 2019 – Lucerne, Switzerland - June Update
61st FEIBP Congress 26-28 September Lucerne (Switzerland) Update May 2019
Registration for the 2019 FEIBP European Brushware Federation Congress in Lucerne is Open
FEIBP Congress 2018 Report– Bordeaux, France
FEIBP Congress 2018 – Final Programme Details
Happy Birthday Dr. Heinz Zahoransky!
60th FEIBP Congress Update August 2018
Registration for the FEIBP’s Jubilee Congress 2018 in Bordeaux Now Open
60th FEIBP Congress, 26 – 28 September 2017, Bordeaux (France)
Boucherie Borghi Group to Attend 2017 Myanmar PLAS PRINT PACK
Boucherie Borghi Group to Exhibit at Plast Eurasia 2017
Boucherie India: 20 Years of Customer Service
Discover the Sharp BLD by Boucherie Borghi Group
2,000 Attend Open-House Event to Mark Wistoba Pinselfabrik’s 100th Anniversary
Borghi Boucherie Group to Attend Plastics & Rubber Indonesia 2017
2017 Boucherie Borghi Group Sales Meeting
Report: Official Opening / General Assembly 59th FEIBP Congress, Leipzig
SIT Iron Men!
STAR V2 from Boucherie Borghi Group
FEIBP Market Report 2017: Vegetable Fibres
59th FEIBP Annual Congress – Leipzig, Germany
SIT and the New eurobrush.com Website
FEIBP Market Report 2017: Bristle
Boucherie Borghi Group introduces ARCHIMEDE
FEIBP Market Report 2017: Thermoplastic Polymers
FEIBP Market Report 2017: Fine Hair
Boucherie Borghi Group to Attend IranPlast 2017
Introducing the INFINITY from Boucherie Borghi Group
ZAHORANSKY Achieves Highest Order Intake in Company's History
Wöhler Brush Tech to Attend 59th FEIBP Congress
Perlon® to Attend 2017 FEIBP Congress in Leipzig
Cake Decoration Brushes from Zahn Pinsel GmbH
Boucherie Borghi Group Looks Forward to 59th FEIBP Congress in Leipzig, Germany
Borghi USA Investing $100K in New Offices, Laboratory & Machine Shop Equipment
GIOTTO - Machinery for High Volume Production of Disc and Cylinder Brushes from Boucherie Borghi Group
TB33 FLEXI from Boucherie Borghi Group
FEIBP 59th Annual Congress Update
FEIBP President Looks Forward to Welcoming Delegates to 59th Annual Congress
Next Generation of Brush Production: Zahoransky's Z.LION
ZAHORANSKY: Ideas Make the Difference
21st UK Brushmakers and Suppliers Golf Day
FEIBP Congress Update June 2017
Boucherie Borghi Group to Attend Kenya Plast 2017
Borghi SpA Introduces New President
FEIBP News May 2017
Visit Zahoransky At Chinaplas 2017!
ZAHORANSKY given the 2016 MSG Award
59th FEIBP Congress, 6 – 8 September 2017, Leipzig, Germany
Wöhler-Platz – The New Address for Innovative Automation Solutions in the Brush Industry
FEIBP Awards ABMA Special 100th Anniversary Commemorative Platter
The Boucherie Borghi Group at FEIPLASTIC 2017
Zahoransky Looks Forward to Celebrating 100 Years at the ABMA Convention
PERLON® - The Filament Company Invests in its Global Locations
ZAHORANSKY Automation & Molds and Packaging
ZAHORANSKY joins Forces of Sales & Service in Shanghai
ZAHORANSKY Continues Upswing Thanks to Strong Demand
Boucherie USA Team to Exhibit at MDM West 2017
Boucherie Borghi Group at Interplastica 2017, Moscow
Wöhler Brush Tech goes Social Media
Wöhler Honoured with Promotional Award of the State of NRW
The Boucherie Borghi Group will be present at Plastivision 2017
Boucherie Borghi Group OVALE
KREX® Filaments for Paintbrushes from Pogliani
Boucherie Borghi Group at Plast Eurasia 2016
Boucherie Borghi Group invites you to the Plastics&Rubber show in Indonesia
Inauguration of ZAHORANSKY’S New Plant in Spain
Boucherie's Mold Team at the World’s No.1 Trade Show for Plastics and Rubber
Boucherie’s PTt: A Revolution in Anchorless Brushmaking
Pogliani at FEIBP Congress 2016
Boucherie Borghi Group at K 2016
Inspire: The New Way of Cleaning from Ebnat AG
The New Boucherie Website is Out!
PTt Technology from Boucherie Borghi Group
FEIBP Open Golf Championship 2016
Perlon® to attend 2016 FEIBP Congress in Edinburgh
SIT Tecnospazzole to Attend the 58th FEIBP Congress in Edinburgh
Fili & Forme Looks Forward to the 58th FEIBP Congress in Edinburgh
Gover, Horowitz & Blunt: Suppliers of Raw Brush Materials
Wistoba at FEIBP Congress 2016
Pogliani to Attend the only Annual Meeting for the European Brush Industry
Mill-Rose Expands Selection of Mini/Micro Brushes for Industrial and Medical Use
Edinburgh is Prepared for EU Brushware Industry!
45 Years of Service at Wöhler
GIOTTO from Boucherie Borghi Group
Perlon® brings Multifil production in-house
58th FEIBP Congress, 7 – 9 September 2016, Edinburgh / Scotland
Market Leading Wistoba Brush Introduces New App
Wöhler looks back on successful Interbrush 2016
Zahoransky Brings a Black Forest Feeling to Interbrush
Boucherie Borghi Group Interbrush 2016 Review
Interbrush 2016 a success for Pogliani Srl!
Boucherie Borghi at Interbrush 2016: Some of our Numbers
Plasticfibre Interbrush 2016 Review
Fili & Forme Srl at Interbrush 2016
German Brushware Industry Announcement
ZAHORANSKY Receives (Re)certification
58th FEIBP Congress Golf Event at St Andrews, Fife
Hahl Pedex and BBC Celebrate Joint Venture
Hahl Pedex to attend 2015 FEIBP Congress in Italy
Loewert Industries Opens New Production Unit in Sri Lanka.
SIT to attend FEIBP Congress in Marina di Ugento
Raw Materials for the Brush Industry from Pogliani of Italy
Boucherie Borghi Group: Longstanding Supporter of FEIBP Congress
Professional Cleaning & Household Brushes from Brosserie Thomas
Interior Brush with Carbon Fibre Filament by Lessmann
Ebnat adds a New Twist: ÜX - The Superbroom!
Report from FEIBP Working Group Personal Care 2017
My Account - Join - Contact us
Gallery title - This is a title