Glass Prices (Q4 2021)
The prices in Asia by the end of the year had increased by 30-40% by the final quarter of 2021. The flat glass prices per 0.04 inch increased by almost 30%. The price hike came after the increase in raw material prices globally by almost 35%. As the regional demand increased in the automotive, architectural and electronic sectors, the prices too increased as production levels were not enough to keep up with the supply requirements.
As the vaccine for coronavirus surfaced, the vial demand increased in the region for companies like Pfizer and BioNTech. Schott Ag reported a production of over two billion glass vials in 2021. CIMC in United Kingdom had planned to open a new production facility for glass in 2021.
North America continued to suffer from global glass shortages which caused the prices to remain high even in the final quarter of the year. This affected the prices for several other major end-user industries of glass such as the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries. Most of the glass in US was imported from Europe and Asia but disruptions in supply chains and high freight costs drove up the prices amidst the shortage. In the meantime, its demand as a packaging material was skyrocketing with the upcoming holiday season in the region. The prices had risen by 5.4% by the end of the year 2021. The domestic production was at full capacity but not enough to satisfy the demand in the domestic market.
Glass Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
China too followed similar patterns and witnessed a price rise in 2021. Major producers like XYG, SYP, CSG and Jinjing increased their prices for mirrors, low e-coated, low iron and float glass, etc. The float glass prices were 405 USD/MT in the region in May 2021, which was twice as much of that in May 2020. The requirements were soaring high in both domestic and international markets as the economies recovered from the aftermath of the pandemic and the construction activities resumed. This increase in the demand pushed its prices upwards reaching record high levels since 2012. Glass future prices reached a value of 455 USD/MT. The main reasons for the soaring prices were accounted to limited production capacities which could not keep up with the high requirements. Other reason was global inflation which increased the prices not just for glass but also for other construction materials such as aluminium, steel, bronze, copper, etc.
In Europe, the market prices witnessed an upward trend as a result of shortages in supply in the region caused by the low inventory levels. The production in the region had been hit by the lockdowns imposed due to the pandemic. The production resumed in 2021 but was still lagging to keep up with the demand. France reported a national shortage of the product. The demand increased after the economies reopened following the pandemic. As plastic use had been discouraged, keeping in mind the environmental situation, glass was used as a recyclable alternative as a packaging material. It also had applications in the architectural and construction industries. All these reasons coupled with the increase in raw material prices caused the prices to rise in the region.
The prices for float glass and coated float glass increased as a result of high freight costs, rising packaging and transportation, and raw material costs. Major companies like Virakon, Kuraray, Syracuse, etc. increased the prices of their products over a course of five months in 2021. A glass fabricator in Midwest reported a 10-13% increase in prices in April. The rise in fuel and labour prices also contributed to the increase in prices to almost twice the value in 2021. The demand and sale had also increased by 8-13% which was yet another factor in driving up the prices in the region.
Glass Prices Overview 2020
The demand for glass mainly comes from the real estate industry which accounts for 75% of total demand. Due to the pandemic, the construction work had halted in the region and even after the lockdowns were lifted, the resumption of work was delayed. Along with this, there were problems in logistics, especially in the main glass producing areas such as Hebei in China, where vehicles after moving from one city to another were required to be quarantined for 14 days which caused severe problems for the trading activities of the market. This kept the inventory levels very high and prices went down in the region. The production capacities were however difficult to be brought down even amidst the soaring inventory levels which in turn pushed down the prices. The demand was mostly negligible as China suffered from the epidemic, causing a slowdown in the construction activities.
Due to the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, several major end-user industries for glass were heavily impacted in Europe in 2020. The imposed lockdowns had slowed down the sales of cosmetic products and fragrances in Germany, UK, Italy and France. The wine and liquor sectors were also hit by the lockdowns. However, downstream sectors like food and beverage and pharmaceuticals drove the market in the region. Europe is one of the major glass manufacturing countries with over 162 manufacturing plants. As more and more focus is being given to reduce the plastic use and switch to recyclable products, the demand in the region is generally high with major applications in packaging. In Germany, a major pharmaceutical glass packaging company, Gerresheimer Ag, increased its production using recycled glass.
The flat glass market globally was valued between 111.3 to 265.85 billion USD in 2020. The pandemic had affected the sector adversely. Several manufacturers were forced to halt operations temporarily to comply with the restrictions mandated by the government. This ultimately had a detrimental effect on the automotive sector and crippled construction activities which in turn affected the demand for the product, the construction industry being a major end-user. In the second half of 2020, the industry recovered a bit in spite of the setbacks. In the first half of 2020, Fuyao Glass Industry Group reported a loss of 13.4 million USD. However, as the economy reopened in the second half, the residential and commercial construction projects resumed which in turn positively impacted the demand in the region. Tomakk Glass Partners announced a new fabrication facility in Louisiana to keep up with the rising demand in the region.
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Procurement Resource provides prices of Glass for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Glass refers to a non-crystalline, mostly transparent amorphous solid, which has wide applications in technological, practical, and decorative areas. It is used in windowpanes, lamps, automobiles, tableware, and optics. It transmits, reflects and refracts light and these properties of Glass can further be enhanced by cutting and polishing to make optical lenses, prisms, etc. Glass is usually formed by rapid cooling (quenching) of the molten form; but some glasses such as volcanic glass occur naturally.
Glass is basically produced using two primary processes, that is, the float glass process, which is generally utilised to produce sheet glass, and the glassblowing process which is typically utilised to produce bottles and other containers. Once the desired form of glass is produced, it is generally annealed to remove stresses and enhance its hardness and durability, followed by surface treatments, coatings or lamination to improve the chemical durability and finishing.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).