Here is one thing we know about how Hurricane Ida will affect the U.S. resin market: It will hit supplies, delivery and prices for materials.
How much? For how long? How high will prices climb? That all remains up in the air.
At this point, what's left of the storm that made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29 is still making its way through the Southeastern U.S., with rain that could inflict more on a region that has already seen deadly flash floods in the past few weeks.
For plants in Louisiana and Mississippi, they may have escaped direct hits by the storm, but that doesn't mean there will be no impact.
"That's another big issue [from storms] of roads and people's ability to get to plants," PN senior reporter Frank Esposito said in this week's Material Insights. "And also, just rail and shipping availability. How do you get rail cars running on flooded lines? How do you get trucks down flooded roads?"
Kansas City Southern railroad said in an Aug. 30 post on its website that its lines to New Orleans as well as in Mississippi to Hattiesburg and Gulfport remain closed.
"Until the water has receded sufficiently, maintenance cannot yet begin," it wrote. "Crews are on location and will begin making the necessary assessments and repairs once the all-clear has been received."
Plastics News will continue covering damage from Ida in the coming days and weeks, even if that means asking more questions than we have answers.