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Rubber Industry Pulse Survey


 

To better understand the overall impact and future state of the rubber industry, ARPM is conducting a monthly Rubber Industry Pulse Survey. This 7-question survey takes less than one minute to complete but gives insights into how the rubber industry is faring so far - and what executives anticipate for the future. Participate through your personalized e-mail link to get the results sent to you when the report is completed every month. (Request e-mail link) As ARPM collects information, we will continue to trend and make predictions based on the inputs given by rubber industry leaders. 

For clarity, throughout the rest of this analysis:

  • Week 10 refers to data collected on June 22 – 25: 87 submissions
  • Week 12 refers to data collected on June 29 – July 8: 102 submissions
  • Week 14 refers to data collected on July 13 – 23: 112 submissions
  • Week 17 refers to data collected on August 3 - 20: 106 submissions
  • Week 20 refers to data collected on September 1 – 30: 89 submissions
  • Week 24 refers to data collected October 1 – 31: 82 submissions
     

Week Twenty-four: Data collected October 1 - 31

This dataset was provided by 82 different submissions spread over one month. Participating companies serve 18 different primary industry segments. The most common primary industries typically served by respondents include Industrial, Automotive, and Construction. Each of these primary industries will have its data highlighted throughout this report.
 

At what level is your plant currently operating?

There has been a slight increase in production from previous weeks, as the percentage of companies at full operations has moved up to 74 percent. However, the number of companies at less than 25% of production also increased.

  • Industrial
    • Production for industrial processors is mostly positive with 80 percent at full operations. Another five percent are at 50-75% operations.
    • 10% of processors are at about 25-50% of operations, with five percent of industrial respondents being at less than 25% of operations.
  • Automotive
    • 73 percent report full operations, a large improvement from 47% in the previous pulse.
    • 27% are between 50 and 75 percent of operations, and no automotive participant is below 50% of operations.
  • Construction
    • Rubber processors primarily serving the construction industry are operating at full operations.
       

What percent of your customers are shut down?

For customers that are shut down, the positive trend begins again with an increase in processors with no customers shut down compared to the previous pulse survey. We only received three percent of respondents with 50 percent or more of their customers shut down.

  • Industrial
    • 76% percent of industrial manufacturers have at least 90% of their customers open, a large decrease from 90% last month.
    • 12 percent of industrial processors have 10% of their customers shut down and 6% of industrial processors have 20 percent of their customers shut down.
  • Automotive
    • 79% of companies primarily serving the automotive sector report that they have no customers shut down.
    • 21% of automotive processors have only 10% of their customers shut down. 
  • Construction
    • 100% percent of construction manufacturers have no customers shut down.
       

At what level are you currently staffed?

As customers continue to reopen and operations are ramping up for many rubber companies, employers can call more employees back to work. Companies are reporting consistent staffing levels compared to the previous pulse surveys, with most processors between 90% and 100% staff. There was a small shift from companies from about 75% of staff to about 50% of staff.

  • Industrial
    • Industrial manufacturers are seeing increased staffing levels, with 85% at full staffed and 5% at 75% staffed. 
    • The remaining 10 percent are staffed at about 50%, and there were no respondents that were less than 50% for industrial processors.
  • Automotive
    • 93% of companies primarily serving automotive are staffed at about 75-100%:
      • 73% are reporting 90-100% staffed
      • 20% are reporting about 75% staffed
    • Only 7 percent are staffed at 50%, and zero percent of respondents are staffed at less than 50%.
  • Construction
    • 100% of companies primarily serving the construction marketplace are staffed at 90% or higher.
       

Are you experiencing supply chain issues that impact your ability to produce?

Looking at the supply chain, there are fewer issues this month compared to previous pulse reports with a slight shift in respondents with moderate issues in the supply chain to only having minimal issues.

  • Industrial
    • 40 percent of industrial manufacturers have no issues, which is consistent with the previous pulse survey.
    • 5 percent of industrial processors are having moderate issues, which is an improvement from last month.
  • Automotive
    • 53% of companies serving the automotive industry are experiencing no issues with their supply chain.
    • 47% report minimal issues, but no automotive respondents had any moderate issues.
  • Construction
    • 38% of respondents have no issues, which is down from 60% last month.
    • 50% have minimal issues with their supply chain and 12% have moderate issues.
       

In terms of future staff planning (next 6-12 months), we are...

To better understand overall future planning, companies were asked about their near-future staff planning, or how staffing would change over the next 6-12 months. More companies reported they are looking to maintain staffing levels compared to the previous pulse survey. There was an increase in the number of companies looking to add staff as well with a large decrease in companies looking to reduce staffing levels. 

  • Industrial
    • The industrial industry processors are primarily looking to maintain staffing levels at 55 percent.
    • About 10% are looking to reduce staff and 35 percent are looking to add staff.
  • Automotive
    • Companies looking to maintain staffing levels increased from 47% to 53%.
    • 47% are looking to add staff and no automotive participant reported they were looking to reduce staff.
  • Construction
    • 63 percent of executives report they are looking to add staff and 25% are looking to maintain staff levels.
    • 12 percent reported that there will be at least some permanent or semi-permanent staff reductions.
       

How are you forecasting revenue through the end of 2020?

While the industry is changing rapidly, executives were asked how they are currently forecasting revenue through the end of 2020. Each week, this data changes slightly as processors get a better lens through which to view the rest of the year. Forecasts improved slightly from the previous pulse survey, as there was a ten percent increase in the number of companies at 95% of their 2020 forecast.

  • Industrial
    • Revenue forecasts for the industrial industry have improved, as 50% of respondents are at 75% of expected revenue and 35% of respondents are at 95%+.
    • Only 15% of companies are at 50% or less of their 2020 forecast.
  • Automotive
    • 14% of automotive companies report they forecast revenue at 95%+ of their original 2020 forecast, an improvement from 5% in September.
    • 64% of companies serving automotive are forecasting revenue through the end of 2020 at about 75%+ of the 2020 forecast.
    • 21% anticipate revenue through the end of 2020 to be at about 50% of the 2020 forecast.
  • Construction
    • At forecasting through the end of 2020:
      • 75% report 95%+ of 2020 forecast
      • 25% report 75% of 2020 forecast
         

At this time, with the information currently available to you and your team, when are you anticipating production levels to return to "normal"?

Company leaders were asked to look forward and share when they believe they will experience the elusive "return to normal" or pre-COVID-19 production levels. Expectations are spread between the remaining months of 2020 and 2021, with some time in 2021continuing to be the most common expectation.

  • Industrial
    • Of those primarily serving the industrial market, 26% report that production levels have not been impacted or have returned to normal, which is consistent with the previous pulse.
    • 67 percent of industrial manufacturers do not anticipate a return to normal in 2020, another decline from 71% three weeks ago.
  • Automotive
    • 54% indicate they do not believe production levels will return to normal in 2020.
    • Only 9% of automotive processors have not been impacted or have already returned to normal.
  • Construction
    • 57 percent report that production levels have not been impacted or have returned to normal, which is far better compared to the other industries.
    • Only 29% of construction processors indicated a return to normal in 2021, which is much more optimistic than the rest of the industry.


Remember to check this site for an update every month. If you have suggestions for questions to be added or changed, please e-mail ARPM's Managing Director, Letha Keslar, at lkeslar@arpminc.org.