Spanish glaze and colour producers sound the alarm over the sharp fall in demand
Orders were almost halved in April. ANFFECC calls for urgent economic measures to guarantee liquidity for businesses
The majority of Spanish ceramic glaze and colour producers have resumed production following the almost two-week forced closure at the beginning of April, but they are now having to deal with the demand-side impact of the pandemic on their business.
According to estimates by the national trade association ANFFECC, orders in April were down by almost a half (between 48% and 50%) and were seeing even bigger falls in the domestic market.
“In Spain, the forced shutdown of production activities until 11 April put an immediate brake on domestic demand and, as our tile manufacturing customers are warning, the recovery will be very gradual,” says Manuel Breva, secretary general of ANFFECC.
As for exports, which account for 70% of the glaze and colour sector’s annual turnover, the situation varies according to the target markets and the measures adopted in each individual country to contain the pandemic.
“Orders are holding up in some countries such as Germany, Russia, Poland and Portugal, but in others demand has plummeted, particularly in countries such as Italy, India, Morocco and Algeria that account for the largest share of our exports and have been forced to stop or enormously reduce their ceramic production due to the health crisis” continues Breva.
In view of the alarming situation in the sector, the Spanish ceramic frit, glaze and colour producers’ association is once again pointing to an urgent need for further public measures to alleviate the economic crisis. They are calling for concrete action such as reducing the tax burden and facilitating access to credit in order to boost business liquidity and employment.
Another decisive factor will be the rapid implementation of the resolutions approved by the Eurogroup in order to supply liquidity to the worst hit European economies, in the hope that businesses will be able to access the EU funds requested by the Spanish Government in the shortest possible time without the administrative and bureaucratic obstacles that so often complicate access.