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Update on the Polyurethane Foam Crisis – July 2021

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The unprecedented disruption to the polyurethane foam supply chain continues to impact all North American end users of polyurethane foam and their ability to serve customers and meet demands in a timely manner.

Current market dynamics and delays are driven by a second unexpected supply chain event that has immediately reduced the availability of the chemical agents used in all polyurethane panels.

In early July, one of the major chemical suppliers announced that on top of the supply chain challenges they were already facing, they are now also experiencing upstream constraints on brominated flame retardants.

Brominated flame retardants are an essential ingredient in the polyurethane foam mixture, as the compound has the inhibitory effect on combustion chemistry and tend to reduce the flammability of products containing them.

This supply limitation has been driven by not only disruptions caused by the severe winter storms in February but also additional recent operational disruptions that have resulted in less production volumes.

This recent development results in further reductions of chemical availability in July and reduced expectations for both availability and predictability of the pace of the recovery of supply.

As we work through this challenging situation, KPS Global is committed to thinking outside the box and providing solutions for customers’ projects. To combat the shortage of polyurethane foam, we are offering various alternative products that will allow a walk-in to maintain operations until the polyurethane foam shortage ends and a full remodel is possible.

Daily conversations with suppliers indicate this situation will remain a challenge for the remainder of the year. KPS Global is monitoring the situation daily and providing updates as soon as information becomes available.

In the meantime, we want to thank everyone for their cooperation and patience during this frustrating time and look forward to returning to normal operations.

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