The over the last few months, the price of a barrel of oil has gently dropped and has hovered around the $100 mark for a little while now. We have seen petrol and diesel prices stabilise somewhat and come down a few pence. Though I’m sure we would all like it to drop some more! But what is concerning is that despite the price of oil now well down since it’s peak of nearly $150 per barrel, we have seen costs in the glazing industry go up.
We all expect the price of petrol to go down when oil does. Whenever fuel costs go up, so does everything else connected with it i.e food, goods and services etc. So why is it that when fuel prices come down, does everything else stay up? Take PVC polymer prices for example. Fabricators have been passing on price increases for a few years now, blaming fuel and oil prices. Yet, since oil has come down, we have seen no price reductions. I totally understand that when oil goes up, everything else has to go up with it. That’s how the system works. But surely it should work the other way when prices come down?
The same can be said of the glass industry. We all know that there is a cartel at work in all but name, and as one puts their prices up, so do the rest. Then the blame is placed on higher transportation costs. But how can this be when oil has now stabilised and dropped a little? Surely this is profiteering?
I think the situation of price should be something that the GGF could look into. I am fully aware that prices should go up when the cost of raw materials and transport goes up. In fact I wrote a post recently saying that we should be accepting price increases. But something like this should work when the situation is the other way round. Yet, after a series of sustained falls in the price of oil since it’s high, all we have seen is rise after rise in prices to the end users. This I believe is not fair, the big boys at the top of the chain are taking advantage of those beneath them and adding unnecessary pressure.
It is time we start getting firmer but fairer with each other. In times or hardship we all need to work together, yet we are not. The industry is still splintered and there is very little cohesion between the different sectors. Yet we are such a big industry. If we were to be more proactive and helpful with each other, I believe we could apply some real pressure on the issues we feel are wrong in our in our sector.