Alera 65500 Resin Rectangular Folding Table with Radius Edge, Platinum

The PE, PP and PVC additions are being driven by newfound supplies of shale gas that are providing plentiful ethane and propane feedstocks. PET additions are being driven by feedstock logistics for that material and by an ultra-competitive PET market.Ravago recently acknowledged the expected impact of this new resin when it formed Genesis Polymers, a new business channel that will focus on bulk commodity sales to North American processors. RHA president James Duffy said in a news release that Genesis is being launched with future North American polyolefin capacity expansions in mind.”Shale gas revitalized the resin market,” said Williams at Nexeo. “But the first question is will all this new capacity be built. We’re well-positioned either way. Some resin suppliers have downsized their sales staffs, but we’ve added to ours because we’re expected to play a key role.”

He added that with the new resin, North American resin markets “should have stable supply, with less volatility and fewer turnarounds.””Longer-term, I have to believe that having two low-cost regions [in North America and the Middle East] will bring more stability in pricing and production for the polyolefins market,” added Schuering at PolyOne.But PE supplies will continue to be tight until the new capacity comes on line, according to Ed Holland at M. Holland. That will call for “a change of behavior” among some customers, including more forecasting and better planning, he said.”Some customers haven’t evolved as quickly on inventory as others,” Ed Holland added. “They’re going to have to evolve in order to survive, because the volume of feedstock changes keeps getting bigger. Dealing with supply and volatility takes up more of management’s time.”

The other part of the resin narrative holds that new and affordable supply will lead the region’s processors to install more capacity — in the form of film lines, blow molding machines, injection molding machines and other types of processing equipment — as the new material spurs innovation and leads to increased demand for finished products, both within the region and in export markets.”I can buy into some of that reshoring talk, but our customers are being cautious — they haven’t really done anything yet as far as adding capacity,” said Skoczen at Muehlstein. “I can see some business coming back to North America from the Far East.”

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