U.S. and Canadian sales of PVC and linear low density polyethylene showed strong improvement in the first half of 2010, according to data from the American Chemistry Council.
For PVC made in the region, sales grew 8.5 percent, according to Arlington, Va.-based ACC. But all of that growth came from export sales, which shot up almost 55 percent. Within the U.S. and Canada, first-half PVC sales fell almost 3 percent, as the domestic building and construction market continued to struggle.
LLDPE made in the region enjoyed a first-half sales gain of 7.2 percent. Growth for that material came both domestically (up 4.1 percent) and from exports (up 16.3 percent).
First-half results were mixed for other commodity resins. U.S. and Canadian sales of LDPE grew almost 3 percent, while sales of high density PE and polystyrene each fell almost 2 percent and polypropylene sales slipped almost 1 percent. The PP total includes Mexico.
In HDPE, a first-half drop of almost 24 percent in export sales wiped out a 5 percent domestic sales gain. That same scenario played out in PP, where a 49 percent export drop eradicated an 8 percent domestic increase.
For LDPE, a 4 percent first-half domestic sales gain overcame an export loss of almost 3 percent. In PS, export growth of 27 percent helped to soften a domestic sales loss of almost 4 percent.
Among major end markets, first-half sales of HDPE into non-corrugated water pipe soared 36 percent in the first half, while sales of LDPE into paperboard extrusion coating jumped 32 percent and sales of LLDPE into non-food packaging film shot up 23 percent.
A recovering North American auto market also sent first-half PP sales into transportation uses up almost 70 percent in the first half. Sales of PS into food packaging also climbed 55 percent.
Large end markets lagging the field in the first half included HDPE into household chemical bottles (down almost 9 percent), LDPE into non-packaging film (down 13 percent), PP into injection molded housewares (down 8 percent) and PS into food service (down 18 percent).