Plastics markets and sustainability

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Plastics Markets

Feedstocks, imports weigh on US polyester staple fiber prices

Falling feedstock costs and growing import competition continue to pressure polyester staple fiber (PSF) prices in the US, even with demand at its annual low, and the situation is likely to deteriorate further in the year ahead, say analysts at IHS Markit.

Nylon markets to integrate and consolidate as margins tighten

Narrowing margins and supply chain uncertainty in the nylon-6 and -6,6 markets are driving producers toward greater vertical integration and consolidation.

Tough times for SAP producers

Producer margins for superabsorbent polymers (SAP) will remain slim next year, say analysts at IHS Markit.

Slowing capacity growth means strong outlook for PVC producers

The global polyvinyl chloride (PVC) supply/demand balance has improved significantly over the past few years, the result of rationalization during 2015–16, the slowing pace of Chinese expansion, and steady demand growth, according to analysts at IHS Markit.

PET will be key to meeting EU plastics recycling targets

Europe's plastics industry will be leaning heavily on the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sector to meet targets set by the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, an initiative launched by the European Commission in 2018.

Auto slowdown squeezes natural rubber producers

Already struggling with oversupply, the natural rubber industry, which is located mainly in Southeast Asia, now faces a persistent slowdown in the key automotive market.

Growing interest in PMMA recycling

Interest in circular economy has reached such a pitch that recycling efforts are intensifying even for smaller-volume, higher-value plastics such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

Tariffs push new US PE production out of China, into Europe and SE Asia

The tariff war between the US and China has caused a clear shift in polyethylene (PE) trade patterns, with US volumes of high-density and linear-low density polyethylene (HDPE, LLDPE) redirected to markets outside China, and producers in the Middle East and Southeast Asia stepping in to fill the gap.

US Gulf Coast ethane crackers build up head of steam

Lotte Chemical’s recently held official inauguration of an ethane cracker in the US is another milestone on the Gulf Coast’s journey toward an export-driven future.

New study shows widespread development, growing success of chemical recycling

High-profile partnerships and urgent demand have pushed a handful of chemical-recycling technology providers into the limelight, but many more are waiting in the wings, according to a new study from Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focused on t he circular economy.

GPS 2019 preview: Plastics market faces historic challenges, evolves sustainability strategies

The worldwide plastics market is facing “historic challenges” after a record period of growth, with headwinds developing that could substantially impact the market's future, according to Nick Vafiadis, IHS Markit vice president/plastics.

EPS balance to improve on sharp decline in capacity growth

Global capacity to produce expandable polystyrene (EPS) far exceeds demand. Ten years ago, booming demand sparked a surge in new capacity investment, mainly in China, but the market failed to keep pace.

IdentiPlast 2019: Industry alliances tackle plastics in the environment

Several high-profile industry alliances have been launched in the last six months to tackle the increasingly urgent challenge of plastics in the environment, including marine litter.

Flood of new capacity darkens polycarbonate outlook

With demand slowing but supply set to surge, polycarbonate producers are looking at difficult years ahead, say analysts at IHS Markit.

Featured data

Plastics Markets
Regional PP price trends | November 2019

The North American polypropylene (PP) market has been stagnant in recent months, with prices tracking propylene.

Plastics sustainability & recycling

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