Stock prices of publicly held plastics materials firms have continued to recover in the first seven months of 2021.
Prices of many of the 15 materials firms tracked by Plastics News were negatively impacted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit global markets in early 2020. But those numbers began to improve in the second half of the year, and that improvement continued into 2021.
All 15 firms saw their per-share prices rise between Jan. 1 and early trading Aug. 5. AdvanSix Inc., a maker of nylon 6 resins and specialty chemicals, led the way with a price surge of almost 80 percent, fueled by beating sales and profit estimates for the second quarter.
Price gains of 30-35 percent were seen at Chemours Corp. and Kraton Corp. Increases of 20-25 percent were recorded for Celanese Corp., Cabot Corp. and Rogers Corp.
Per-share prices were up 10-20 percent in that period at Eastman Chemical Co., Dow Inc., Avient Corp. and Hexcel Corp. Single-digit percentage gains were seen at Huntsman Corp., Westlake Chemical Corp., DuPont Co., Trinseo and LyondellBasell Industries.
In the broader market the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up almost 16 percent in that period, with the wider S&P 500 up more than 19 percent.
A June 22 report from investment site Zacks said that the specialty chemical industry "has bounced back from coronavirus-led stupor, thanks to a strong rebound in demand in key markets including automotive and construction."
"The upswing in global industrial and manufacturing activities bodes well for the industry," the report said. It cited specialty chemicals that include catalysts, surfactants and specialty polymers used in petroleum products, inks and plastics.