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

Uncertainty is certain as 2013 begins. Sales and revenues are growing single digits, but profits are elusive. Geopolitical events (read Iran) may determine the economic outlook for 2013. Look for oil prices to react (see Energy and Pricing below) and eventually a resumption of inflation in plastic resin prices. Europe will continue to hold down growth; however, China should resume global record-setting growth. Trading with China will be important.

Benzene (a major component of many TP resins) pricing remains stable, as does petroleum, auguring well for little or no inflation in pricing of shapes into 2Q 2013. We do expect inflation of about 2 percent in the second half of 2013. 

Wilson Art, laminate producer, acquires a new CEO. Tim O’Brien, formerly SABIC IP’s engineering plastics resins manager joins John Krinicki, former President, GE Plastics, where O’Brien also worked. Laird Plastics buys US Cutter, an online marketer of sign supplies and branches out into becoming an equipment marketer. Bayer MaterialScience (Sheffield) obtains U.S. government approval for its Hygard® PC laminate used as protective facades for U.S. embassies.

GF Piping Systems supplies HDPE pipe into Australian coal mine worth CHF 8 million. Norva Plastics, a Virginia-based fabricator, wins US$3.75 million verdict in eminent domain case. Arkema’s Altuglas, which has approximately 20 percent of global PMMA, has joined forces with NatureWorks to offer a PMMA/PLA alloy. With soy-based PU now in development at Battelle Institute, the environmental movement is enveloping our industry exponentially.  

European Polycarbonate Sheet Extruders (EPSE – Brussels, Belgium) are working on a European standard, proposing to add the CE mark, indicating standards for construction products. Industrial distribution (including plastics) revenues in 2011 were $353 billion, an increase of 19 percent over 2010. Mergers and acquisitions in our industry will accelerate this year, with larger players enhancing their market share and buying growth, spending ample supplies of capital. Look for mid-market companies to be absorbed.

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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