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 react to the European debt crisis as well as the continuing tentative growth in China’s economy and Japan’s continuing struggle with deflation and the Not-So-Great-Recovery from the Great Recession. 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 shifting. U.S. GDP is expected to rise 2.6 percent in 2014, with all regions gaining, led by the West Coast.

Natural gas prices hold lower and temper energy costs for our industry, this is expected to continue throughout 2014 and beyond.

PE and PS resin prices track stable, while PP drifts lower and PVC and ETP hold steady. Expect some selective sheet price increases in the first quarter of 2014. Generally expect stability in pricing to continue during 2014.

Eastman develops extruded Tritan® copolyester tubing used in Air Sentry’s line of desiccant breathers; tough, chemical resistant and BPA-free are key properties. Bayer MaterialScience appoints Anthony Durso Makrolon® PC sheet mid-central regional manager. Thermoformer Universal Plastics acquires Mayfield Plastics, forming an almost US$20 million business unit. 

Most metals prices (except for steel) are expected to remain lower to stable in 2014, with nickel trending down and copper and aluminum steady and tin is expected to go up. This will make metal replacement based solely on cost more challenging for plastics. Other trends for the new year will be continued revenue and profit growth, albeit incrementally: low double digits compared to high single digits that we experienced in 2013. Look for inflation in shapes prices to trend upward, especially in the MMA and PC clear sheet categories. Consolidation in both manufacturing and distribution sectors will continue as well as new applications for those remaining.


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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