PET bottle resin prices take surprise tumble

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AKRON, OHIO — A surprise price reduction for North American PET bottle resin is featured in this week's Material Insights video.

Prices for PET bottle resin in the region fell an average of 1 cent per pound in July. That's an unusual move for the summer months, when beverage demand is high. Regional PET bottle resin prices had fallen a total of 7 cents per pound in March and April and now are down a new of 6 percent so far in 2013.

A pair of international compounding expansions also are featured in this week's video. Japanese materials maker Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. has opened a plant Indonesia to make nylon 6/6 compounds for the automotive market. In Brazil, Japanese film and textiles maker Toyobo Co. Ltd. will open a plant next year making compounds based on engineering resins for automotive applications.

The video wraps up with news that compounder RheTech Inc. and Ford Motor Co. have collaborated on a project that uses a rice hull-reinforced material as a replacement for talc in electrical harnesses for 2014 F-150 trucks. RheTech previously has used rice hulls and other natural fibers to reinforce polyolefins in consumer applications. The harness application is the first time the materials have been used in the automotive market.