Austria’s paint, coatings industry orders collapse - group

03 June 2009 16:27  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Austria’s paint, coatings and varnish industry saw orders collapse in the first few months of the year, and fears a further deterioration as markets have not yet bottomed out, an industry group said on Tuesday.

Some producers recorded a decline in orders of up to 50% this year, Gunther Berghofer, head of Osterreichische Lackindustrie, said.

“We have not yet reached the bottom, and if the trend continues further industry rationalisation measures will be inevitable,” Berghofer said.

Even though the industry’s production value rose by 6% in 2008, the downturn actually started in the second half of last year, the group, which is part of Austria’s chemical industry association FCIO, said.

Exports, which had already fallen 4.5% to €224m ($320m) in 2008, continued to trend downwards in the first half of 2009, Lackindustrie said.

In addition to the bleak economic outlook, the industry was also burdened by complex regulations that hindered the sale of products containing biocides, it added.

The group was particularly critical of an “action plan for sustainable public procurement” drafted by the country’s environment ministry, it said.

It also warned of “over-regulating” products based nanomaterial technology. 

Nanotechnology was huge opportunity for the coatings and paint sector that needed to be fully utilised.

“We must avoid over-regulation, because that would mean the end of technological progress,” Lackindustrie deputy head Hubert Culik said.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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