SPE Industry Update
Jan. 26, 2011

Green packaging projected to grow
Plastics Today
U.S. demand for green packaging-composed of recycled content, reusable and degradable packaging-is projected to increase 3.9 percent yearly to $14.7 billion in 2014, consuming 58 billion pounds of material, according to a new report, "Green Packaging," from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.More

Nascent morphology of polyolefin particles from gas-phase polymerization
SPE Plastics Research Online
It is generally agreed that the final morphology of polyolefin particles depends strongly on what happens during the very early stages of the polymerization reaction. Controlling polymer morphology is of fundamental importance for the operational and economic viability of this process. It is frequently desired that the resins exhibit certain morphological features, such as a regular shape, high particle density, narrow particle-size distribution and/or porosity control.More

US plastics sector about halfway back to 2007 level of business
Plastics News
The U.S. plastics industry is recovering quickly from the Great Recession, but is still only about halfway back to the level of business it achieved in 2007, according to a report from the National Association of Manufacturers. According to the Jan. 18 report from Dave Huether, NAM's chief economist, 2010 was "a time of recovery for manufacturing in America."More

Chemicals industry refines its strategy
The U.S. chemicals industry accounts for $674 billion in revenue, 780,000 U.S. jobs and more than 10 percent of the nation's exports, according to figures cited by the American Chemistry Council. But unless you're talking about the latest biofuels craze, the chemicals industry is often left out of "rebuilding U.S. manufacturing" conversations.More

Gasoline profits surge on naphtha supply
Profits from making gasoline out of naphtha in Asia are rising at the fastest pace in a year as global supplies of the raw material also used in plastics grow. Gasoline's premium to naphtha jumped as high as $11.75 a barrel on Jan. 13 from $5.50 on Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Should the difference end this month at that level, it would be the biggest increase since January 2010.More

Automotive market on road to recovery
Reinforced Plastics
The U.S. automotive industry is on track for recovery and new vehicle sales in China are booming. In Europe, the picture is not quite so promising, although some companies are registering good growth. Pent up retail demand for new cars and trucks in North America is giving the automobile market a lift. Consulting firm AT Kearney predicts that U.S. light vehicle sales will move back to historical levels (about 16 million) by 2012.More

Indian plastics organization establishes university
Business Standard
Gujarat, India, will soon have a university for knowledge dissemination on technology and innovation in the field of polymers and plastics industry. The industry body, Plastindia Foundation, is planning to set up a university at Dungra near Vapi in South Gujarat. According to industry sources, the federation is in advanced talks with a leading foreign university for an academic collaboration.More

US factories buck decline
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. manufacturing, viewed as a lost cause by many Americans, has begun creating more jobs than it eliminates for the first time in more than a decade. As the economy recovered and big companies began upgrading old factories or building new ones, the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. last year grew 1.2 percent, or 136,000, the first increase since 1997, government data show. That total will grow again this year, according to economists at IHS Global Insight and Moody's Analytics. More

Report from the International Builders Show: Plastic continues to edge out slate, wood
Plastics Today
Roofing shingles, siding, decking and railing molded from virgin plastics, a combination of virgin and recycled plastics, and plastics and natural fillers are all popular options in the building and construction world. For example, InSpire Roofing Products, a Tapco Group company, introduced its next-generation premium roofing products that combine the natural beauty found in slate along with what it calls the most technologically advanced methods and materials.More

Sabic fourth-quarter net gains 27 percent
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world's biggest petrochemicals maker, said fourth-quarter profit rose 27 percent, in line with analysts' estimates, as demand recovered. Net income advanced 5.81 billion riyals ($1.55 billion) from 4.58 billion riyals a year earlier, the Riyadh-based company known as Sabic said in a statement today. The mean of five analyst estimates was for a profit of 5.88 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More

DSM, KuibyshevAzot team up for Russian plastics venture
Dutch chemicals group DSM said recently that it has tied up with Russian peer KuibyshevAzot (KA) to form an engineering plastics joint venture in Russia. Under the agreement, DSM is to acquire an 80 percent stake in KA's engineering plastics compounding plant in Togliatti in the Samara region, where KA's manufacturing site is located.More

FDA-grade recycled HDPE now available
Greener Package
Envision Plastics has announced that it has fully ramped up production of its EcoPrime™ food-grade recycled resin at its Reidsville, NC, plant. The company notes that EcoPrime is the only recycled high-density polyethylene resin available in the U.S. to be cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in packaging foods and beverages.More