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Material Insights: Feb. 21, 2012

February 21, 2012

A big North American price increase on polypropylene resin is featured in this week's Plastics News Material Insights video. Prices for PP in the region have catapulted up by an average of 17 cents per pound since Feb. 1, according to buyers contacted by PN. Industry sources said the increase was the result of tight supplies of propylene monomer, with at least two production units in Texas and one in Louisiana being off line. It's the sixth time since last january that PP prices in the region have absorbed a double-digit swing. Annual financial results from Georgia Gulf and Polyone also are included in the video. For PVC resin, compounds and products maker Georgia Gulf which is involved in a takeover battle with Westlake Chemical sales for 2011 grew 14 percent to more than $3.2 billion, while profit grew 36 percent. At top compounder PolyOne, full-year sales grew more than 9 percent ot almost $2.9 billion while profit grew more than 6 percent. PolyOne officials are looking for enhanced results from ColorMatrix, the liquid color leader that PolyOne acquired for almost $500 million during 2011. The video wraps up with a look at a new bioplastics joint venture between NatureWorks and bioplasticizer maker BioAmber. The JV will be called AmberWorks and will develop bioplastic compounds aimed at biodegradable food service products such as injection molded cutlery and thermoformed cups.