American Polymers Inc., a polystyrene resin maker and resin distributor in Oxford, Mass., is closing its doors.
``Over the past year, American Polymers Inc. has experienced disruption in its operations due to the volatile feedstock prices and the imbalance between supply and demand for polystyrene,'' company officials said in a Jan. 22 news release. ``We see no substantial change in market conditions going forward. As a result, the owners of API have decided to cease the production and distribution operation.''
API now will begin ``an orderly wind-down of our business.''
``All creditors will be satisfied and every effort will be made to help our customers find alternate supply sources,'' officials said.
API operates 120 million pounds of PS capacity - mostly in high-impact PS - on four lines in Oxford, employing 65 and posting annual sales of about $90 million. Harold Doherty, Daniel Coakley and Stanley Raphael have owned the PS business since 1984.
In a Jan. 25 phone interview, Doherty said production should wrap up by June, adding that ``a number of people'' are interested in buying some of the firm's four production lines.
Doherty also said the decision to close the business wasn't made until late December or early January.
``We had to decide if we really wanted to try and stick around for three or four more years,'' Doherty said. ``But we don't see conditions in the market changing.''
Another reason they decided to close the firm is the relocation of U.S. plastic processing work from the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions - where most of American Polymer's customer base is located - to the South.
PS resin sales accounted for about 60 percent of API's sales, with the remainder coming from resin distribution.
Industry sources said API's Oxford plant may be the smallest-capacity commodity plastics unit operating in the United States.