Quarterly reports are coming in for companies in the plastics industry, and the early signs show that most are seeing a big rebound since the COVID-19 pandemic nearly shut things down a year ago.
Strong numbers are coming in from materials suppliers — Avient Corp. with a 63 percent sales growth and LyondellBasell sales up by 21 percent — and equipment companies, where film machinery maker Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH saw sales of more than $660 million compared to $480 million.
Big end markets are seeing strong results, too. Packaging firm Silgan Holdings Inc. posted record profit for the quarter and Ford Motor Co. just posted its best quarter in a decade, making more than $3 billion.
But, as always, with good news comes caveats. For companies in the auto industry, the shortage of computer chips is forcing automakers to shut down assembly plants. Ford expects to lose 1.1 million units of production throughout 2021.
And Silgan — with thermoforming, injection molding and blow molding — cited "unparalleled increases in resin costs." President and Chief Operating Officer Adam Greenlee warned of a $10 million lag in pass-through resin cost increases expected in the second quarter.