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Material Insights: Dec. 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

A late-year price drop for North American polyethylene is featured in this week’s Material Insights video. Prices for the material in the region fell an average of 2 cents per pound in November, according to buyers contacted by Plastics News. Average selling prices for PE now are down a net of 5 cents per pound since Jan. 1. A buying spree from plastics conglomerate Ravago Group also is featured in this week’s video. In the last couple of months, the Belgium-based firm has bought two U.S.-based PET distributors (Burcham International and Meckler & Associates) and a pair of European expanded polystyrene makers (Monotez and Eastchem). The video wraps up with a positive outlook for U.S. plastics and chemicals from the American Chemistry Council of Washington. Almost $45 billion in new projects have been announced, including new PE capacity. ACC President Cal Dooley said that affordable natural gas has flipped the cost equation between the U.S. and the rest of the world in the last five years.