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Material Insights: Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012

North American price hikes for solid polystyrene and PET bottle resin are featured in this week's Material Insights video. Regional PS prices moved up an average of 5 cents per pound in August, with PET prices ticking up an average of 4 cents. The PS move was tied into higher prices for benzene feedstock and moved counter to a 5 percent drop in first-half PS demand in the US and Canada. The PET increase took some buyers by surprise, since it came at a time of year when beverage demand starts to decline bringing with it lower demand for PET. PET prices had been down or flat for four straight months before the August increase. A PET-related land deal from M&G Group also is featured in this week's video. M&G has purchased land from a philanthropic foundation in Corpus Christi, Texas, that now will be used for a plant making 2.2 billion pounds of annual PET and 2.6 billion pounds of PTA feedstock. Officials with M&G said the site will be the world's largest integrated PET plant. The video wraps up with a pair of news items from color concentrate and additives maker Americhem in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The firm recently announced a multi-year deal to distribute flame-retardant polyphosphonate resin for FRX Polymers in Western Europe and Turkey. Americhem also launced a new line of black concentrates using nigrosine dye for under-hood auto applications and similar uses.