Like many compounders and concentrate makers, Avient Corp. is looking for growth and stability in 2024.
"We expect growth [in 2024], with the view that destocking is nearing an end in most end markets," Woon-Keat Moh said in a recent email interview with Plastics News. Moh is president of the Americas and Asia regions for the Color, Additives & Inks unit of Avon Lake, Ohio-based Avient.
"That said, at this point, growth will likely be modest as customers remain cautious about the overall macro environment," he added.
Avient executive Chris Pederson said via email that he also expects growth in 2024. He added that keys to growth include inventory levels coming back into balance, continued adoption of sustainable solutions, lightweight composites and government infrastructure programs that support renewable energy. Pederson is president of Avient's Specialty Engineered Materials unit.
Avient is one of North America's largest producers of compounds, concentrates, composites and protective fibers. The firm posted sales of $3.4 billion in 2022.
Both the CAI and SEM units posted lower financial results in the third quarter of 2023. Third-quarter CAI sales were down 14 percent vs. the same quarter in 2022, with operating income down 6 percent. SEM saw a third-quarter sales loss of 3.5 percent, with operating profit also down 3.5 percent.
Sales into the transportation market have been a bright spot for CAI in 2023.
"Transportation has been outperforming our expectations and other end markets," Moh said. "Last year, this end market was hampered by computer chip shortages. As chips become more available this year, automotive manufacturers are producing more cars that incorporate our additives than in 2022."
Pederson said that Avient's 2022 acquisition of the Dyneema-brand fiber business gave the firm "an important global market position" in the defense industry.