The Urethane Blog

Tariff Impact on Epoxies

Industry 4.0, Tariffs Cause Major Spike in Epoxy Resin Sourcing

This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Ellsworth Adhesives, a global leader in specialty chemical distribution.

Hello, and Happy New Year! In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for Epoxy Resins by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this category is up 42% over its historical average.

Our firmographic buyer data shows that three of the top industries driving this trend are aerospace & defense, construction, and the semiconductor & electronics industry.

As Industry 4.0 drives a massive increase in the use of advanced electronics on the factory floor and throughout the supply chain, we believe this digital industrial revolution is a key driver behind sourcing activity for Epoxy Resins. At the heart of those advanced electronics are printed circuit boards, or PCBs, and Epoxy Resins are used heavily to protect and insulate those PCB components from harsh environments, where vibration, moisture, and thermal or mechanical shocks are an issue. Our data does show a correlating increase in sourcing activity for PCBs, which has been surging for over a year on In fact, Printed Circuit Boards were the second most sourced product category on our platform in 2018.

In addition to PCBs driving a lift in sourcing for Epoxy Resins, we believe that tariffs are also driving increased demand for domestic sources of supply. Epoxy Resins are used in a broad range of applications, from marine and industrial paints and adhesives to automotive coatings, powder coatings, casting and molding compounds, and more. As the U.S. levied a 25% tariff on Chinese imports of Epoxy Resins back in August of 2018, it’s likely that this cost increase had U.S. buyers of Chinese materials scrambling to find new sources of supply.

In addition to sourcing for Epoxy Resins, our data also shows that sourcing activity is up 21% over the past 12 weeks in the broader general category of Resins.

Watch the video here: