Guest Columnist

Mel Ettenson’s Global Plastics News

IAPD is pleased to welcome Mel Ettenson as a guest columnist each month in the IAPD News offering unique content for IAPD members.

The column below is only a sample of the Global Plastics News. If you are interested in learning more about the entire publication, visit

The global economy continues to be tentative in its sluggish drive to recover from the European debt crisis as well as the slowing China economy and the tentative economic direction of the United States. Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom remain stable and strong. Is there such a thing as Commonwealth wealth? The low cost of capital should be producing brisk growth in the plastics industry, but it remains tepid with consolidation appearing to be a driver of growth, albeit market share seems to be shifting.

Geopolitical factors affecting oil continue to impact renewable energy and especially feed stocks in our industry, notably benzene. Natural gas prices are holding lower and temper energy costs for our industry, which is expected to be contributory throughout 2013 and beyond. 

PE and PS resin prices track higher, while PP drifts lower and PVC and ETP hold steady. Expect some selective sheet price increases in the first quarter of 2013. Generally expect stability in pricing to continue during 2013.

Curbell Plastics acquires Waggoner Plastics and American Plastics, Texas-based distributor-fabricators; Waggoner started in 1952 and American in 1987. Dow Chemical hints at divesting its PC resin business, more certainly polyolefins. Kydex, LLC helps determine the global color palette; a new leader in color technology for a broader market. Arkema's Kynar film advances into photovoltaics applications and earns awards in China's technology industry. 

Look for steeper metal prices in spring 2013, with copper rising sharply. Aluminum and nickel is exhibiting a modest gain. Steel up low double digits – as always this trend opens up applications and markets for ETPs. Technology advances continue as screen sharing and face recognition become commonplace in office environments and customer service functions. Apps for smart phones that accompany road warriors will connect them to customers concurrently with inventory and deal with how to get customer to your plant digitally. Watch for renewed growth in display markets. DDI magazine and Global Shop 2013 are important sources for increasing market share for distributors and fabricators.

About Mel Ettenson
THE GLOBAL PLASTICS LETTER is a quick, highly informative plastics newsletter - to the point and timely enough to act on. In just four pages it packs relevant news, information and insights, with a primary focus on sheet, rod, tube and film, plastic semi finished shapes, plastic basic shapes, semi-finished plastics, plastic sheet rod tube and film. The newsletter covers pricing trends, market moves, new and upcoming products and services in the plastics industry.



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