Plastics News' Nov. 28 print issue featured our annual special report on compounding. It's a keeper because of the listing of compounders — how many readers consulted that when resins were in short supply in 2021-22?
But the real highlight is Frank Esposito's centerpiece feature. He talks with top officials at nearly every major U.S. compounder and concentrates maker.
Here are a few highlights from this year's report:
• First-half demand growth was fairly strong, but inventories began to grow from COVID-shocked purchases just as a slowing global economy caused demand to slow down. That's made for a challenging second half of 2022, although most officials say this was a good year.
• Last year we heard frequently from processors that were having trouble finding certain materials. Compounders are no longer reporting shortages, saying that supply chain issues have eased or disappeared.
• Sustainability is a major focus, and compounders are working to help customers meet recycling goals.
• Looking ahead to 2023, executives are optimistic, in spite of some uncertain economic indicators.
"Everyone is going to see a correction in the fourth quarter [of 2022], but you have to have some optimism," Techmer PM Chairman John Manuck said. "We'll have to wait and see how January looks."