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 its slow but steady recovery and our industry is tracking single-digit growth month after month and quarter over quarter. Inflation remains low but so are sources of capital to spur investment, thus greater growth. This is a scenario we have to live with, perhaps for the rest of this decade.

Low cost natural gas and fracking shale to withdraw even more natural gas are continuing trends. 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. It’s worth watching these energy markets for trends. Crude oil and natural gas supplies trended upward last month; hopefully, continuing with minimum disruption by Gulf hurricanes and Middle Eastern geopolitics.

PE and PS and PVC resin prices track ever so slightly higher, while PP drifts lower and ETPs hold steady. Expect some selective sheet price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013 as well as some nylon, UHMW and acetal semi finished shapes.

DuPont appoints a new distributor for Teflon® flouroplastics in Europe: Dolder of Switzerland. Curbell Plastics moves its Florida branch to Largo. Lucite International sets October 2013 for final submissions to its LuciteLux design contest called JUST IMAGINE awards.  

Industrial metals prices are trending higher into 2014, including aluminum, steel, copper and possibly nickel, once again opening the markets for selective HPM plastics for replacement application growth. Apple launches the new iPhone 5c with its body made from polycarbonate, calling it “beautiful, unapologetically plastic.” Industrial metal prices, including steel, aluminum and copper are expected to have single digit increases in 2014. Nickel prices are holding steady.

3D printing using thermoplastics is simplifying manufacturing processes in many industries such as aerospace and energy-related industries. A 3D printed fuel injector in a NASA program uses only two parts instead of 115 in previous manufacturing process.

Attendance at the IAPD annual convention in Florida is expected to approach record numbers, despite it being held during hurricane season — there’s a product for that at Comco!


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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