Many North American compounders and concentrate makers have enjoyed a sweet 2016, saying that the year has matched or exceeded their expectations so far.
“We set aggressive targets and surpassed them,” said Ryan Howley, president of Techmer PM in Clinton, Tenn. “Our sales are on track to be up more than 5 percent.”
“We've had a good year, and it's probably been good for our competitors as well,” added William Murray, president of Teknor Apex Co. in Pawtucket, R.I. “Our North American sales were reasonably good, and raw materials were favorable for us.”
Sales of commodity resins to compounders in the U.S. and Canada were mixed in the first nine months of 2016. Compounders in that region bought more polypropylene and low density polyethylene in that time period, but lower amounts of high and linear low density PE, PVC and polystyrene, according to the American Chemistry Council. The PP total includes sales to compounders in Mexico.
“The sluggish economy in Europe and North America has presented challenges, but we've grown revenue by maintaining our focus on service, collaboration and specialty formulations,” said Craig Nikrant, Specialty Engineered Materials president with PolyOne Corp. in Avon Lake, Ohio.
“We've had a good year volume-wise, but our sales total has been impacted by lower prices for resins like polyethylene, polypropylene and nylon,” added Jean Sirois, Europe managing director with RTP Co. in Winona, Minn.
“I think any compounder would tell you they've had a good year,” said Mike Rosenthal, executive vice president of The Plastics Group of America in Woonsocket, R.I. “We're seeing growth of close to 10 percent in some product areas.”
Plastics News recently checked in with these and other executives to measure the health of the regional market for compounds and concentrates.