Have you noticed that there is a shortage of paint?



Amid global shortages of paint and painting supplies, artists are finding it harder and more expensive to get the pigments they want. As with other industries, paint manufacturers around the world have struggled with supply chain and personnel issues since the start of the COVID pandemic. But another preventable “force majeure” took the worsening shortages and rising prices of art supplies to another level: extreme weather disasters around the world.

The pandemic has created a labor shortage of factory workers and drivers that has clogged supply chains in the face of growing demand for paint, especially for construction and home improvement projects. To make matters worse, the February frost in Texas slowed production of petroleum, an essential ingredient for paint. This caused shortages of three of the most popular colors: Chantilly lace, tricorn black, and smoky green. A fire at a BASF polymer plant in Germany in March affected production for much of the summer in Europe. And in Canada, forest fires during the summer, caused by scorching, dry weather, severely affected the flax harvest, resulting in significantly higher prices for flaxseed oil.

“For art materials, the entire industry has struggled with supply chain issues in everything from acrylic resin sourcing to linseed oil sourcing. by additives, pigments, bottles and tubes, as well as staff shortages due to the pandemic, “said a spokesperson for Golden. Artist Color, a New York-based paint manufacturer, told Hyperallergic. “Some of these challenges were not caused by COVID, but by natural and man-made disasters,” the spokesperson continued, adding that the confluence of these different factors has created the “perfect storm”.

According to Golden, pigment makers have abandoned entire lines of products like the “very popular” Quinacridone Golds and Browns. The company also reported shortages of popular blue pigments like indanthrone blue and ultramarine blue.

Speak with Bloomberg, a representative of Dutch paint manufacturer Akzo Nobel have reported similar shortages of blue pigments, which have caused “complete chaos” in the industry.

“To make paint, you would need between 50 and 60 ingredients,” the company spokesperson told Bloomberg. “Some additives are difficult to obtain.”

According to Bloomberg, the Dutch company is also struggling to source the tinplate used to make metal cans, forcing it to ship empty jars to other countries for filling. He also reported a supply chain issue with some exterior murals because an additive needed to make them waterproof is not available.

According to Akzo Nobel’s third quarter results, the cost of raw materials and other additives necessary for the manufacture of paint increased by more than $ 323 million compared to 2020. As a result, the prices of the products of the business have grown 9% in the past year, the insider said. reports.

Faced with similar shortages of raw materials, Ohio-based paint maker Sherwin-Williams alerted investors in September that paint prices are expected to continue to rise over the next several months.

“The persistent and industry-wide constraints on raw material availability and price inflation that we previously reported have worsened, and we do not expect supply to improve or lower commodity prices in the fourth quarter as expected, ”said company CEO John Morikis. a call to investors, according to CNN.

Golden, which recently announced the transfer of 100% of the company’s ownership to its employees, added that COVID-related security precautions at its facilities have also slowed its ability to meet customer needs.

“As people had to stay home with COVID or quarantined due to close contact, childcare issues or support from elderly parents, we continued to face staff shortages,” said the society. “All of these factors have led to a lack of productivity, even with the tremendous effort of all of our staff working overtime for months to try and keep up.”

While it does not anticipate any improvement in these chronic supply chain issues in the near future, the company is committed to continuing to put the safety of personnel first while working to “weather the storm”.

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