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Material Insights: April 2, 2012

Published: April 2, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: April 2, 2012 12:00 am ET

Rising prices for polyethylene and polypropylene in North America are featured in this week's Material Insights video. Since March 1, regional prices for PE are up an average of 3 cents per pound, while PP prices in the region have climbed an average of 5 cents. Maintenance turnarounds for ethylene and propylene feedstocks are affecting prices for both materials, even though demand has been soft in the early part of the year. A new pigment plant in Tianjin, China, also is spotlighted in this week's video. The plant represents a $19 million investment for Swiss materials firm Clariant. The plant's 16 production lines will make liquid and solid pigments for plastics and other applications. The video wraps up with news of Japanese compounder Polyplastics opening a sales office in Detroit. Officials with the Tokyo-based firm said the office is needed to help grow business with Japanese transplant firms and with American firms that are expanding overseas, primarily in the auto market.

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