Slate Cluster fears that rising utility costs will affect the sector


Víctor Cobo: “The increase is beginning to jeopardize the future of companies”.
The Galician slate sector has closed 2020 with an increase of just over 2% in turnover compared to 2019, despite the context of the pandemic that caused a halt in activity for a month and a half last year.
However, now that the most critical phase of the coronavirus has been overcome, new challenges are facing the sector due to the significant increase in various supplies and services, including, most importantly, electricity, shipping and fuel prices.
All this poses a serious threat to the competitiveness of a sector whose turnover will amount to 345 million euros in 2020. An area of activity that generates some 2,400 direct jobs and 10,000 induced jobs in our Autonomous Community. “This increase in costs is beginning to jeopardize the future of companies,” says Víctor Cobo, president of the Slate Cluster.
These increases affect virtually all suppliers. Compared to last year (2020), energy has been increased by +100%, fuels (+45%), aluminum (+50%), plastics (+40%), wood (+28%), explosives (+40% so far, a rise of up to 50% is expected) and spare parts (+10%).
In addition, the sector warns that it is not always possible to pass on cost increases to the end customer, as in some cases closed contracts prevent this.
Logistics and transport
Another problem that could affect the sector is the increase in the price of logistics and transport services. 95% of Galician slate is sold abroad, the main importing countries being France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and the United States.
“However, the sharp increase in sea freight rates in Europe and the rest of the world, with a cost that in some cases has increased up to 300%, makes the delivery times of goods double in many cases, especially in transoceanic markets,” emphasizes Víctor Cobo, president of the Slate Cluster.

Source: Valdeorrasdecerca.com 03 12 2021