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Material Insights: March 5, 2012

March 5, 2012

February price increases for North American polyethylene and polystyrene resin are featured in this week’s Material Insights video. PE prices rose an average of 3 cents per pound for the month, as a 6-cent increase attempt was cut in half. Availability of ethylene feedstock was cited as a reason for the increase. In PS, prices for general-purpose resin jumped 5 cents with prices for high-impact material rising 7 cents. Both increases were impacted by higher prices for benzene feedstock, with higher butadiene feedstock prices adding another 2 cents to HIPS. Huntsman Gay Global Capital's purchase of compounding firm Citadel Plastic Holdings also is featured in this week’s video. Citadel has annual sales of about $300 million and was assembled through five acquisitions by Wind Point Capital. Huntsman Gay is a private equity firm co-founded by Plastics Hall of Famer Jon Huntsman. The video wraps up with news of a major $1.7 billion expansion from Formosa Plastics in Point Comfort, Texas. The project will include a new olefins cracker and a new plant with almost 700 million pounds of capacity for low density PE. Officials said newfound supplies of natural gas in North America influenced their decision to expand.