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 as the Great Recovery plays out. Watch for interest rates (which have been low for the past decade) begin to rise. This portends a slew of changes for our industry. Buying materials with futures thinking should pay dividends.

Low cost natural gas and fracking shale to withdraw even more natural gas are getting more attention. This could take more demand pressure away from petrochemicals and thus continue to put a dampening effect on plastic resin prices that affect our industry; this is worth watching for trends. Crude oil and natural gas trended upward last month, with minimum disruption from Gulf hurricanes.

PE and PS resin prices are tracking lower, while PP, PVC and ETP hold steady. Expect some selective sheet price increases in 4Q 2013.

Google Supplier joins Amazon Supply in introducing an online ordering platform for plastic shapes. Certainly the prices are high to start, but the smart money crowd needs to respond eventually (within seven months by internet — formerly dog — years). Rusplast becomes distributor for Victrex (PEEK) in Russia. NatureWorks’ PLA film now has a patent for Biodegradability. 

Look for new thinking about managing our businesses since the advent of the Great Recession and into the Great Recovery. Build your organization for speed, the Jack Welch way (watch for our Interview with him this fall). Here’s the strategy:

  • Measure, and optimize for speed
  • Motivate, and instill a sense of urgency
  • Model, and lead the way

K 2013 opens 16 October, 2013 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Expect 3,000 exhibitors in 1.8 million square feet of exhibit space handling 200,000 visitors.


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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