Quarter of Surveyed Firms See Current Situation as Life-Threatening

By , 05 Jul 2022, 09:49 AM Business
Quarter of Surveyed Firms See Current Situation as Life-Threatening Photo: Ivan Radic CC-by-2.0

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STA, 5 July 2022 - A survey by the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia (GZS) sees more than a quarter of the surveyed companies assessing that the raising prices of energy, raw materials and services are threatening their existence. The GZS has demanded immediate action from the state.

The survey conducted in June among more than 60 companies, 80% of which are industrial companies, sees their biggest challenges in the need to increase prices of products, and in lower operating profit and competitiveness and a drop in market share.

The companies surveyed have on average purchased 62% of their electricity needs for this year and slightly more than half (52%) of their natural gas needs. This share drops to around 19% for 2023, and to 8% (electricity) and 12 (natural gas) for 2024.

On average, the companies reported a 166% increase in energy costs in the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year.

The share of energy costs in sales revenue increased on average by 4.7 percentage points during this period, with the companies estimating that the increase in energy costs at the end of the year compared to 2021 will be even higher.

Users in energy-intensive industries (production of paper, glass, steel, aluminium, chemical companies) noticed an increase in energy costs in sales revenue already last year, by an average of 1.7 percentage points.

The rise in 2022 is even more obvious, as it amounts to 7.2 percentage points, the GZS noted on Monday as it presented the survey.

At the same time, the surveyed companies reported on average a 47% increase in costs of raw materials from January to May this year compared to the same period last year.

The price of natural gas increased the most (by 560%), followed by acetic acid (+320%), anthracite (+277%), steel (+73%), aluminium (+63%), cellulose (+52%).

The GZS has established on the basis of the survey that on average, the prices of strategic raw materials increased even more than all raw material costs combined, by about 10 percentage points.

In addition, most of the surveyed companies report longer delivery times, higher prices than expected and planned, and delivery delays.

"These are strong arguments for the government to act immediately," GZS director general Aleš Cantarutti commented on the survey, while welcoming the measures taken so far to stem the growth of prices of motor fuels and the announced aid for farmers.

"At the same time, we expect that the government will also present a set of measures to alleviate the rise in energy prices for households and businesses by the end of the week," he was further quoted in the chamber's press release.

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