Mel Ettenson’s Global Plastics News
The Global Plastics News is moving to an every-other-month publishing schedule in 2014. The next new column will be in April. In the meantime, the following is the February 2014 column. IAPD is pleased to welcome Mel Ettenson as a guest columnist 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 www.globalplasticsletter.com.
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY:
The gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2013, released earlier this month, should spur optimism for 2014. A 3.2 percent growth figure taking us into the first quarter of 2014 will probably be a low for the year. With federal government spending down 13 percent, conditions are right for a resumption of defense spending, which would, in turn, spur increased economic activity across many sectors important to our industry. Increases in consumption, exports and investment in plants and equipment are all precursors for a robust 2014. With interest rates moving upward slowly, conditions are right for investments now to lock in low rates and combat inflation.
Continuing the trend of stable oil prices and lower natural gas prices, primarily due to added capacity and reduced demand in the United States, the outlook is for single digit inflation in resins in 2014 and continuing into the first quarter of 2015. Energy dependency by industrialized nations has shifted inexorably and Middle East influences are waning. All of these factors are to the advantage of our industry.
Higher pricing for exchange traded products (ETPs) are put into effect by SABIC in Europe. Other resins, especially commodities such as PE and PS are set to rise. High single-digit price per pound increases are becoming common for most resins.
DuPont’s flouroplastic (its ECCtreme ECA 3000 perfluoroplastic resin) is now UL rated at 300 C, which exceeds most HPM specs. Plaskolite is opening a JV plant in Turkey with Isik Plastik later this year, with an initial capacity of 1000 mt of MMA sheet. Distribution to be BTS International (Doetinchem of The Netherlands). LEGO is looking for sustainable replacement for ABS.
The Global PC resin market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7 percent from 2014 to 2018, topping out at US$18.3 billion. Electronic and electrical applications will lead the growth, augmented by traditional automotive, medical and optical media and sheet and film markets.
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.