In its Market Brief video for the second quarter of 2011, Communications Supply Corporation (CSC) explains that the cabling industry will soon face a shortage of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), the material used in plenum-rated cable.
CSC recalls the situation as it has unfolded over just about one year, citing decreasing supplies of FEP along with the rising price of copper as contributing factors to rising cable prices. As that situation unfolded over several months, CSC says, most of the industry believed that FEP supplies would be tight but on the whole, the industry would be able to absorb the supply situation and move ahead relatively normally, provided that nothing unforeseen happened.
But, as CSC points out, the unforeseen did happen. Primarily, the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March has severely impacted Daikin's ability to produce FEP. And secondarily, CSC points to optimistic projections for non-residential construction as an indicator that demand for cable - including plenum-rated cable - will increase. The increasing demand coupled with decreased supply will cause a shortage, CSC says.
The video advises CSC customers about what they can do to secure the cable they need before the predicted shortage hits. It also explains, in greater detail than described here, the causes of this expected FEP shortage and a recent FEP price hike.