In recent interview with Reinforced Plastics (see Interview: Owens Corning optimistic for 2013), Genis talks about the factors driving pricing in the glass fibre industry. 

"Pricing in this industry is very much related to capacity utilisation and our market intelligence tells us that by the middle of this year capacity utilisation will be at a high level, and next year it will be in the territory where availability starts to become a concern," he notes.

Pricing in this industry is very much related to capacity utilisation and our market intelligence tells us that by the middle of this year capacity utilisation will be at a high level, and next year it will be in the territory where availability starts to become a concern.
Arnaud Genis, Owens Corning

He also points out that it is becoming very difficult for Chinese glass fibre producers to add capacity as the Chinese government has reduced its support for capacity expansion to focus on forward integration and cost reduction. Owens Corning believes the Chinese composites market is going to grow by more than 10% this year and this means several furnaces in China will have to be redirected from export to domestic production. This will drive prices up.

In addition, the European market in the 2012 fourth quarter was a little soft and the high cost producers in Europe were wondering if they could manage to load their assets, Genis reports. Doubts on the PTC [production tax credit for wind power] extension in the US also triggered some concerns. However he believes all the indicators are now green and that by the summer of this year capacity utilisation is going to drive prices up.

The second driver of price is value creation.

"When we work on our best in class agenda obviously we look at sharing the value we create with our customers," Genis notes. "We want our customers to be more profitable but not at our expense."

Genis believes that the pricing environment has been very challenging and that achieving improved profitability will be necessary in order to justify reinvestment.