European plastics converters are still coming under increasing pressure, with raw material prices increasing 20% since December, says the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) association. “There has been a sharp upswing in prices across the board for most polymers, commodity and engineering, and this is both seriously compromising processors with their customers as well as threatening profitability,” managing director Alexandre Dangis said in a statement. For some companies, up to 70% of their selling price is accounted for by raw material costs, hampering their international competitiveness, he added. The key problem is the price of oil. “Whilst we are some way off the peak prices of early 2008 when oil reached $150 (€115) a barrel, over most of last year they rose again, hovering above and below $100 (€77) per barrel and now we are about $125 (€96) (Brent Crude at mid-day on 13th March),” said Dangis. The announcement comes only a few days after France’s Fédération de la Plasturgie said its members are facing material price hikes of up to 17% because of producers announcing force majeure.