Higher prices and higher volumes are the buzzwords for pipe, profile and tubing extrusion in 2021. This was clear in survey responses and echoed in annual report filings, with very few exceptions.
Double-digit percentage gains dominated the top 100, and a few even hit triple digits, including Tex-Trude Pipe Co. LLC of Channelview, Texas; Atkore Inc. of Harvey, Ill.; Blue Diamond Industries LLC of Lexington, Ky.; and National Pipe & Plastics Inc. of Endicott, N.Y.
Let's look at the base statistics for this week's ranking of 191 North American extruders. The total for related sales was $29 billion, up 27 percent from the previous year. The average sales per company comes in at $152 million, up from $119 million. The breakout remains the same with 51 percent pipe, 44 percent profile and 5 percent tubing extrusion.
Acquisitions made headlines throughout the ranking, with four in the top 10 alone, including a private equity deal for Cornerstone Building Brands Inc. Plus, big changes for Westlake Corp. with the Boral and Dimex acquisitions, making it our biggest dollar gain at a little more than $1 billion. Be sure to checkout all the footnotes in our published chart on pages 10-16 for all the acquisitions reported.
This marks the first time in my stewardship of Plastics News' data that I actually had to stop and take a moment to digest the big gains. Not even the second-quarter losses early in the pandemic were as striking.
One notable dropout was windows and door maker Weather Shield Mfg. Inc., which announced it was halting vinyl production to focus on the luxury market for aluminum and wood windows.
For 2021, resin pricing was up for the top materials used in extrusion, ranging from 14 percent for ABS to 208 percent for polypropylene. However, North American prices for polyethylene and polypropylene resins did drop as 2021 came to a close.