Plastics, rubber shipments rose in July
WASHINGTON - The largest monthly increase in shipments of plastics and rubber products in more than five years pushed new orders for manufactured goods up slightly in July, according to U.S. Commerce Department data released Aug. 31.
Shipments of plastics and rubber products increased 4.3 percent, to $15.3 billion, from June's figures. That marks the largest monthly increase since March 1996, the Commerce Department said. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
The $600 million monthly increase accounted for more than one-third of the $1.7 billion increase in shipments of all nondurable goods in July, the Commerce Department said.
For the year, however, plastics and rubber remains down. Shipments stood at $104.6 billion through July, compared with $107.8 billion in 2000.
Inventories for the plastics and rubber sector dropped in July, to $17.8 billion, from $17.9 billion in June.
Tekni-Plex acquiring Mark IV hose unit
SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Tekni-Plex Inc. plans to expand its garden hose business by acquiring a division of Mark IV Industries Inc.
Somerville-based Tekni-Plex will buy the assets of Mark IV's Swan Hose division for undisclosed terms, Tekni-Plex announced Aug. 30. The deal is subject to certain closing conditions.
Amherst, N.Y.-based Mark IV is a large, diverse injection molder for automotive and industrial markets. It also uses other materials to supply those markets. BC Partners, a European equity firm, acquired Mark IV last year.
Westbridge setting up blow molding site
CALGARY, ALBERTA - Recently formed Westbridge PET Containers Corp. plans to establish an on-site blow molding operation for an undisclosed customer.
The Calgary firm was established in July to buy the assets of the former Yorkbridge Packaging (West) Inc. facility, which filed for bankruptcy in May. A related firm, Yorkbridge Packaging Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario, also filed for bankruptcy and its assets were auctioned off in August. Yorkbridge Packaging (Northeast) Inc. in Bethlehem, Pa., did not file for bankruptcy and still is operating.
David Birkby, Westbridge president and part owner, said he and other managers and U.S. investors set up the company. The U.S. investors understand the U.S. market and have helped boost Westbridge's sales in the United States to account for more than half its volume. He foresees further U.S. sales expansion.
Birkby said his firm's major markets are food, beverage, liquor and personal care. It is fully integrated into preform production and can blow mold 150 million bottles a year in its 80,000-square-foot facility, he estimated in a telephone interview.