Executives at some of North America's largest resin distributors recently told Plastics News that they are looking forward to a robust 2014 as some of them admitted that this year fell a little short of their expectations.
Those results included M. Holland Company, which saw sales increase in dollars but the company was below budget in pounds because of difficulty sourcing resin.
In addition, PolyOne's resin distribution unit posted sales growth of four percent in the first nine months of 2013, even though its operating income was flat.
Engineering resins distributor Chase Plastic Services reported sales in dollars and volume in pounds each were on track to be up eight percent in 2013.
Resin distributors also were active in making deals in 2013.
Ravago Group bought resin distributor A-Top Polymers in October. Holland got into the act in late 2012 by acquiring Christler Chemical and Plastics. That was the first such deal in Holland's 60-plus-year history.
Optimism for 2014 includes expectations of higher growth at Nexeo Solutions, the company told Plastics News. That firm might be looking to fill some niches in its line card but company officials already believe their firm is working with industry leaders in key market segments.
In other news, materials maker Styrolution has made some changes to its production lineup. The Frankfurt-Germany based firm now will make ABS copolymers at all three of its German plants, which are in Cologne, Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide. Styrolution also will expand compounding capacity in Schwarzheide to allow for insourcing of specialty ABS and other materials previously made by outside partners.
Styrolution also has opened a logistics center in Ludwigshafen for its specialty styrenic production. The center has automated packaging and storage facilities that improve the firm's ability to supply customers with packaged or bulk goods.
Finally, the end of 2013 has been a busy time for compounder Saco Polymers. The firm is building a 20,000 square-foot office in Sheboygan, Wis., and also is negotiating to buy a pair of compounding plants in China.
The office expansion will house Saco's administrative and sales staff as well as expanded research and design operations. The firm has received a $900,000 loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for the project.
In China, Saco has signed a letter of intent to buy two plants in Jiangsu province from materials firm Dynamic Colours of Singapore. Saco's AEI Compounds unit will pay about $15 million for those two locations, which make color compounds for the electrical and electronic appliance market.