Labelstock Demand (Cont’d from Page 1) While demand in UK was hit by a significant decline in the months surrounding Brexit, Scandinavia showed a mixed picture, and demand growth in central Eu- rope was slowed down by below-average but still ro- bust growth in Germany. Southern European countries which were most severely hit by Covid-19 (with the exception of France) showed growth numbers in ex- cess of 5 percent. Year-on-year growth was strongest in the eastern Europe with leading markets showing annualized growth rates in excess of 10 percent. Although the Covid-19 lockdowns only started in March, it can be assumed that their impact already came into force in February as customers (both for critical and non-critical goods) started stockpiling. In view of these numbers, it should be no surprise that lead times for self-adhesive materials, especially for non-critical goods have increased substantially. Apart from the availability of raw materials label con- verters are facing the impact of lockdowns through the reduced availability of staff on the shop floor, adjust- ments necessary to comply with tightened operational safety and health measures, and cashflow issues related to unilateral extension of payment terms by customers. Tracking COVID-19 Finat has set up a special Covid-19 website and is hosting regular webinars to update members of the la- bel community on the latest developments and stimu- late the exchange of best practices.Apart from raw ma- terials issues and short-term peak supply tensions, of major concern is the impact of a prolonged economic crisis beyond the current government support packag- es provided in different countries for the coming three to six months. It is anticipated that once these packag- es expire, layoffs increase and credit ratings continue dropping, demand could face a severe downturn. To additionally keep its members informed concern- ing developments in the label industry during the Covid-19 crisis, FINAT has been organising a series of webinars through which members and representa- tives of the national label associations can exchange experiences and best practices. To develop discussion and interaction during the latest FINAT Covid-19 webinar on April 28 a poll was introduced with the following question “What are the 3 priorities for resuming operations in the coming 2-3 months”.The responses were: • Raw materials — 65 percent • Labor disruption — 60 percent • Financial issues — 55 percent • Logistics — 50 percent • Occupational health, safety measures — 40 percent • Other —5 percent
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