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Material Insights: Jan. 16, 2012

January 16, 2012

An unexpected year-end price hike for polyethylene resins in North America is featured in this week's Material Insights video. The 5-cent hike took hold even as buyers as late as mid-month expected prices to be flat. Producers cited lower inventories and stronger-than-expected December demand as a reason for the move. PE makers now have announced increases of 6 cents per pound for January, with some announcing hikes of 7 cents per pound for February as well. Archer Daniels Midland's split with Metabolix also is featured in this week's video. The two firms had worked together to commercialize Matabolix's Mirel-brand PHA bioresin, but ADM officials decided the venture wasn't delivering sufficient results. The video wraps up with a pair of news items from the resin distribution world. Ravago Americas has bought distributor and compounder Amco Plastic Materials of Farmingdale, N.Y. Amco president Gary Metzger is expected to remain with the firm, which opened in 1955. Meanwhile in Northbrook, Ill., resin distributor M. Holland announced that it's now distributing engineering resins for global plastics and chemicals leader BASF Corp.