Coming out of a turbulent 2018 marked by strong demand coupled with limitations in both compound availability & manufacturer production capacity, the current forecast for 2019 indicates a sluggish recovery that won’t begin to materialize until Q2. Due to growth of fluoropolymer use in both the automotive and food & beverage industry, compound manufacturers continue to reallocate resources resulting in additional strain as market focus continues to evolve. The fluoropolymer market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 6% by 2022.
Current data suggests PTFE compound availability will improve in Q2 with ETFE following later in the year. Fluorpolymer wire & cable manufacturers struggling with significant backlogs are likely to take a measured approach to recovery once compound availability improves to avoid a sudden and significant drop in demand. If the current projections for strong demand in 2019 are accurate, this cautious approach could cause additional delays that may further slow recovery well into Q3. Additional price increases on fluoropolymer products are also expected to impact the market in the coming months.
As we enter the 4th straight year of defense budget increases, the current administration projects spending to continue at this high level into the future. As a result, the military services and defense industry are making their plans on the basis of this high funding level. 2019 will likely see a continuation of the strong demand from FY18, putting additional pressure on both manufacturing and distribution to work diligently toward reducing material flow inhibitors.
As your go-to supplier for Mil-Aero wire & cable, Whitmor/Wirenetics is committed to work closely with our supply chain to ensure our partners are well positioned. We continue to employ strategies to reduce lead times and mitigate price increases in addition to providing excellent customer service. For more information on how we can help you reach your goals for 2019, give us a call today.