Category Archives: Oil Prices

Chaos and Uncertainty

Rubber MoldingChaos and uncertainty aren’t ideal conditions to operate in, but they’re facts of life in our business. To that end, we do everything we can to see our customers through to the other side.

This year has been an unpredictable one for us. Months that are typically busy have been slow, while historically slow months have been booming. In these tough economic times, everyone is cutting inventory. Many times companies aren’t placing orders to manufacturers until they get orders from their customers—and they want to make sure their customers don’t see any delay. It’s always a challenging position to work under the gun, and while we don’t prefer it, we’re here for our clients. In these unexpected busy periods we’ve come through.

Uncertain price points are also a reality. Here at universal we work with synthetic rubber. 75-80% of that rubber is petrochemical based—in other words, oil based. Ingredients such as polymers, process oils and carbon black are used to form the rubber compounds we work with, each ingredient with their own suppliers. Over the last ten years we’ve seen the number of those suppliers cut in half. Less suppliers means less competition, which means higher prices and increased price inelasticity. All of this leads to an aggravating situation: when oil prices go up, so do petrochemical prices, but when oil prices go down, petrochemical prices are slow to follow. Our clients see the news about falling oil prices and call to ask why we haven’t lowered our prices to match. And while we can’t make

While we can’t do anything to lower prices, we do everything we can to shield clients from sudden increases due to a rise in oil prices. We control all of the variables we can within our four walls to maintain consistent pricing.

So while the times aren’t ideal, the service you get from Universal Polymer and Rubber is. We’re here to get you top quality products when you need them, for a fair price.