In April I spoke with Dan Murad, CEO of The ChemQuest Group, to find out how the coronavirus is affecting the coatings supply chain. ChemQuest has spoken to players throughout the value chain, from raw materials suppliers, to coatings manufacturers, to end users and retailers. I encourage all of our readers to listen to the full, 24-minute podcast of our discussion, but below are some key takeaways from his comments.
What to Expect
As of the podcast recording on April 7, industry shortages include alcohol (diverted to produce hand sanitizer), photoinitiators (primarily supplied from Europe and China), and dyes and pigments (supplied from India, China and Europe). Most binder and resin supplies are in good shape for now. The supply chain is also experiencing transportation-related delays due to travel restrictions and driver shortages.
In an effort to regain lost share due to tariff restrictions in 2019 and COVID-19, China is offering 12%-15% rebates on all exports leaving the country. ChemQuest expects that paint manufacturers will see a discount in China-produced materials such as TiO2, in addition to lower raw material costs from oil price declines.
Who Will Be the Winners and Losers?
“Winning” segments include the DIY residential industry; packaging; medical devices and equipment; and coatings related to health, wellness and safety. Areas expected to see little to no impact include commercial new construction and refurbishment; infrastructure; and road construction and repair. Segments expected to suffer include transportation OEM; pro-applied residential; pro-applied non-residential architectural; durable goods; oil, gas and offshore applications; marine and leisure craft; and auto repair and refinishing.
What Can Companies Do?
Dan also discussed what companies can do for both the short and long term to develop contingency plans and to help alleviate reduced demand from the affected industries. To listen to the full podcast, visit www.pcimag.com/media/podcasts/8457.