Bromine based flame retardants (FR’s) are very efficient and are widely used in coatings for textiles for upholstery manufacture. Combined with other materials (e.g. antimony trioxide) brominated compounds are used on a vast range of textiles to meet the stringent requirements of the UK Fire and Furnishing Regulations. Brominated FR’s make up a significant proportion of textile coating compounds and as a result any fluctuation in the price or availability has a major effect on compound prices.
In China, which is a major producer of brominated flame retardants, justifiable concerns about the environment and poor regulation of chemical producers have resulted in the authorities clamping down on manufacturers, leading to supply disruption and price increases. These effects may only be short term. As environmental requirements are met it is likely that supplies will increase, and prices fall.
The effects of this are already being felt in Europe. A world-wide shortage of brominated FR’s has forced sellers to restrict supplies allocating limited amounts of material to end users. Perhaps not surprisingly prices have risen significantly as well.
As a result, we have been forced to increase the price of our flame-retardant compounds from the beginning of January 2019. At Formulated Polymers we are committed to establishing and maintain long term and mutually beneficial relationships with our customers. If the supply situation improves and brominated FR prices start to fall, we will of course pass on any savings to our existing customers.