PET bottle resin prices to rise 7 cents
AKRON, OHIO — KoSa, Wellman Inc. and DuPont have joined other PET bottle resin makers in announcing 7 cent-per-pound increases for April 1.
PET makers Eastman Chemical Co., M&G Group and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. USA had announced similar increase attempts earlier in February. According to producers, the increases are needed because of price jumps in PET feedstocks such as paraxylene and ethylene glycol and because of high natural gas and energy costs.
Meanwhile, processors and suppliers confirmed that North American PET prices dropped an average of 3 cents per pound in the past two months of 2000.
PET prices fell an average of 5 cents per pound in the second half of 2000 after producers had won a 7 cent hike in the first half of the year.
Processors reported modest volume growth in the first two months of 2001, but also said they had no problem sourcing material. One West Coast processor said he had received several offers to buy resin at prices a penny or two below market averages in recent weeks.
"I don't know how [PET] makers are going to get the [April 1] increase through," the processor said. "I called one of my [resin] salesmen when the increase letters came out and said, `What are you going to do about this?' He hasn't called me back."
Curret PET operating rates are estimated at 85-90 percent. That number could be affected by Nan Ya's addition of 360 million pounds of new capacity in Lake City, S.C., by midyear.
Mossi denies intent to buy Rhodia-ster
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi of Tortona, Italy, denied recent rumors that it is in the process of acquiring Sao Paulo-based PET producer Rhodia-ster SA, but acknowledged an interest in the region.
"We have not made any bid for Rhodia-ster," said M&G Chief Executive Officer Guido Ghisolfi. He added, however, that M&G is looking at various options to expand the company's PET business, particularly in new geographical areas.
"We consider South America and Brazil interesting, growing markets," he said. "We are looking at several options within and outside South America, but there is nothing specific happening at the moment," Ghisolfi said in an e-mail interview.
Brazil's two main PET resin makers have announced that they are for sale: Rhodia-ster and Proppet SA of Camacari. Proppet produces 132 million pounds of PET annually.
The company's PET business is part of a petrochemical complex that is scheduled to be auctioned off in the next few months.
Rhodia-ster is the largest single-site PET producer in South America, with a 397 million-pound-per-year facility in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil. The unit has been for sale since 1998, when Rhodia SA of Paris decided that PET was no longer its core business.
M&G became a global player in February 2000 when it bought Shell Chemical Co.'s PET business.
Harrington acquires Industrial Plastics
CHINO, CALIF. — Harrington Industrial Plastics Inc. has expanded its distribution business by acquiring Malcolm Black Associates Inc. of Lambertville, N.J.
The purchase boosts Harrington's number of sales offices and warehouses to 43 across the United States. Harrington is based in Chino.
Malcolm Black was a private firm that sold thermoset composite pipe, fittings and grating. Harrington distributes pipe, valves, fittings, instrumentation, tanks and related hardware made of thermosets and thermoplastics for corrosive liquid handling. It also does some plastic-lined pipe fabrication, according to spokesman Matt Ballinger.
Harrington, in business for more than 40 years, is a subsidiary of Glynwed Pipe Systems of Birmingham, England. William McCollum, Harrington chief executive officer, said in a news release that Malcolm Black will offer a wider range of products as a result of its acquisition.
Alcan to build packaging plant in Pa.
MONTREAL — Alcan Inc. plans to build a contract packaging plant in Pennsylvania designed for the pharmaceutical industry.
The Montreal firm's Margo Contract Packaging and Specialty Cartons division will thermoform PVC sheet purchased elsewhere and convert it to blister packs. The operation also will make and print paperboard cartons.
Alcan will build the $30 million facility in the Lehigh Valley Industrial park of Bethlehem Township, near Bethlehem. Construction is scheduled to begin this month.
Margo Contract already has factories in Jamesburg, N.J., and Montreal.