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Paintmakers are running out of the color blue

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Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel NV is running out of ingredients to make some shades of blue, the latest fallout from the global supply-chain disruptions that are spreading across manufacturers.

"There is one basic color tint that is extremely difficult to get," Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vanlancker said in an interview last wek after publishing third-quarter earnings. "It's creating complete chaos."

Akzo Nobel is also having trouble sourcing the tinplate used to make metal cans, forcing the Amsterdam-based company to ship empty pots from one country to another for filling. It also called a force majeure on deliveries of some exterior wall paints because an additive needed to make them waterproof is unavailable.

The supply-chain snarls that have sown disarray across industries are raising prices and creating shortages of some basic household products. Paint makers, which typically rely on hundreds of additives and chemicals, have warned for months of higher costs and logistical issues.

Akzo Nobel said the spiraling costs and materials shortages will last through the middle of next year.

While demand is coming back to 2019 levels as some countries appear to be getting past the worst of the pandemic, the installed capacity for making raw materials hasn't changed, Vanlancker said.

"There isn't really a reason why this big panic is happening," the CEO said. "This should be a transient situation that could take six to nine months to get back to normal, but there is no fundamental reason why there would be a lasting supply and demand imbalance."

 

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