WASHINGTON — Global trade data indicates a marked recovery from the recession for the U.S. plastics industry last year, largely buoyed by the resin sector, according to a new report from The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
U.S. resin exports have been "very competitive" on the global market thanks to falling feedstock costs as the domestic shale gas supply has been booming, according to the 2014 Global Business Trends report.
While machinery exports were down nearly 4 percent last year, the report indicates growth in all other industry sectors for 2013, including a 2.7 bump in overall exports on the year. Improvements in the U.S. economy have also meant growing domestic demand for plastics, with industry shipments going up an estimated 5.8 percent in 2013 and apparent consumption rising 6.5 percent, according to the SPI report.
“Surpassing previous consumption levels confirms that the U.S. plastics manufacturing industry is a major player in the world's economy,” said William Carteaux, SPI's president and CEO, in a statement accompanying the report. “While U.S. exports of raw materials continue to show profitability thanks in part to increases in shale gas supplies, domestic demand holds the key to a wealth of job growth and economic benefits for firms that invest in the nation's manufacturing renaissance.”
The report will be discussed in detail during a Dec. 10 webinar, featuring Carteaux as well as panelists Cliff Waldman, director of economic studies at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI); Michael Taylor, SPI's senior director of international affairs and trade and Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative.