Have you got resin pricing on your mind? I ask because I just took a look at the most-read stories on PlasticsNews.com for the first half of 2015, and it's apparent that a lot of readers are very interested in materials pricing.
That's not a huge surprise. I've been keeping track of the most popular stories for quite a few years, and resin pricing has always been a popular topic. But I can't remember any point like this, where 10 of the top 20 stories are pricing related.
Here are the top 20 stories, counting down to the No. 1 story, like Casey Kasem:
20) Resin prices continue downward slide. The first of 10 pricing stories in the top 20. This is like the Beatles having 10 songs in the Top 40.
19) Brazilian police arrest Braskem board chairman. One of the most recent stories in the Top 20, so it will probably keep climbing for a few weeks.
18) Thieves steal truck bound for NPE. One of the most entertaining stories on our list. It happened just a few weeks before the show, and we had the story a few hours before anyone else.
17) Low oil prices will spur growth. One of our regular columns by PN economist Bill Wood. Definitely a topic that was on everyone's minds.
16) It's becoming a seller's market for plastics firms. Want to get rich? Step 1: Start up a plastics company 20 years ago. Step 2: Survive the past two decades, including the Great Recession. Warning: You may have to take out a second and third mortgage on your house. Step 3: Sell your company now. Simple, right?
15) PVC and PET up, but PP prices fall. This is going to get tedious. Trust me.
14) Recycled cup maker MicroGreen shuts down. Another nice scoop.
13) PE and PS prices rise, while polypropylene slips. I suspect Frank Esposito has a lot of friends who read all of his stories.
12) Chinese compounder Pret snaps up US recycler Wellman. A nice M&A scoop, one of those stories that Plastics News readers love.
11) Worker dies in accident at injection molding plant. Worker safety stories are always well read by PlasticsNews.com readers, many of whom use them to remind their own workers about the importance of good safety practices.
9) Silgan narrowing down list of sites for new plastics plants. I'm sure Silgan's customers were interested in this — and a lot of state and local development officials who were hoping to land a big fish.
8) Boeing's 787 bet finally paying off. This is actually a blog item from Joe Cahill at our sister newspaper Crain's Chicago Business. It's not the first time that coverage of the plastics-intensive Boeing Dreamliner ended up on a Plastics News list of top stories.
7) Invista declares force majeure on nylon 6/6. Force majeure declarations have been hot news this year, mostly in Europe. But this one hit North America.
6) PP falls 10 cents, PVC drops by 3. Resin price volatility, always a hot topic.
4) Force majeure declared at six European sites since mid-March. There's that European force majeure story.
1) Vikings tackle stadium problems with plastics. A nice feature about how plastics are being used in the new Minnesota Vikings stadium to deal with issues like heavy snowfall.
I hope you enjoyed the list, but let me add a few more ... I'll call these stories that should have been in the Top 20. I encourage you to read them now, in case you missed them earlier this year:
5) Stork races to repair press damaged en route to NPE. You liked the story about the stolen Wittmann Battenfeld truck? You'll love this one. Plus we have a video of the relieved workers as the press molded its first pails at 9:30 a.m. on March 21, the Saturday before NPE 2015 — after employees began working on it at 2 a.m., linked via the Internet to Holland.
4) Our Processor of the Year coverage, including a profile of the winner — Stihl Inc. — and video reports on Stihl and the other three finalists, Evco Plastics Inc., Prism Plastics Inc. and Nicolet Plastics Inc.
3) Our Plastics Hall of Fame profiles and videos. Great features on nine interesting personalities who were inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame at NPE 2015 in Orlando, Fla.
2) Citadel purchase will nearly double A. Schulman's US sales. The biggest M&A deal in the first half of 2015.
1) NPE to stay in Orlando. Did you know that the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. negotiated with Chicago government and union leaders in 2013 about alternating NPE locations between Orlando and Chicago? The talks were not successful. No one else has reported this story.