Chinese additive supplier Shandong Rike Chemical Co. Ltd. has struck a marketing partnership with U.S. firm Performance Additives LLC, hoping to take advantage of what officials said are opportunities for new players in North America's beleaguered additives sector.
The firms said Philadelphia-based Performance Additives will be the exclusive marketer for all of Rike's products in North America, including acrylic and ABS impact modifiers, acrylic processing aids for PVC foam and other specialty chemical products.
Rike, based in Weifang, is one of China's largest makers of acrylic impact modifiers and processing aids, and employs more than 500 at its factory and research center, according to the firm's Web site.
The companies said they have established labs at Rike's factory dedicated to the North American market.
We expect we will be able to respond to customer needs quicker than U.S. producers, which have continued to cut costs in this area, said Arthur Van Nostrand, founder of Performance Additives and former president of additives at chemical firm Arkema Inc. Performance Additives is a marketing and logistics company.
Van Nostrand said the additive market started to shift to Asia in 2003, beginning with tin stabilizers a trend he said has happened faster than he expected in the economic downturn, as the additive industry has been particularly hurt by the sagging U.S. construction business.
The poor profitability of U.S. additive producers due to poor economic conditions has accelerated the shift, he said. I believe this shift will continue in the coming years with other products. We believe we are well positioned with unique technology, a low-cost manufacturing base, the broadest product line in the area of impact modifiers and processing aids.
The companies are targeting an annual volume of 44 million pounds within three years, Van Nostrand said.
He sees particular opportunities in housing applications like PVC foam trim board, PVC siding, windows, decking, fencing and pipe, as well as some injection molding applications.
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