Connecting Businesses In the World Of Plastics
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Global Polycarbonate consumption in 2008 was 3.25 mln tons. It is expected to grow at 7% for the next 5 years to reach about 4.6 mln tons by 2013. The optical media segment which includes CDs and DVDs was the largest consumer of PC with growth around 35% pa from 1996-2000, slowing to 10% pa from 2001-2005. However, future growth rate of polycarbonate will slow significantly and start to decline as CDs and recordable CDs are replaced by MP3/MP4 players, high internet bandwidth and USB drives. Growth is still expected in other sectors such as alloys used in automotive, electronic products, construction sector, etc. Read in
One of the major limitations of clear PET bottles has been hot filling of beverages that has been resolved with a new process using MuCell technology of foam injection molding to manufacture foamed PET bottles. Read more in
World styrene demand in 2009 is projected to contract for the second consecutive year, bringing the total loss in demand to well over 2 mln tons from the peak in 2007. The oversupply is expected to grow even further in 2010 as more capacity comes on stream, taking into account further monomer plant closures. World average operating rates for styrene are not forecast to surpass even the mid 80% level in the coming years, despite projections that styrene demand growth will resume at levels near GDP. One of the most important trends in the supply of polystyrene has been the rationalization and/or divestment of assets, especially in the mature markets of North America and West Europe. Read more in
The financial impact of hospital-acquired infections counteract medical advances and expensive medical treatments by increasing the length of hospital stay by arage of at least 8 days per affected patient, adding over 10 mln patient days in hospitals in Europe per year. Hospitals are using textiles with barrier effects that are aimed at preventing contamination of bacteria from patients to employees and vice-versa; protecting employees from contamination through biological liquids; protecting the environment. Read about new technologies that aid in reduction of these infections. Read more in
Demand for wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber in USA is expected to increase by 10.3% from 2008 for the next 5 years, projected to advance to US$5.6 bln in 2013. Gains will be driven by continued consumer acceptance of these products as replacements for more traditional materials, such as natural wood. The increasing perception of these materials as environment friendly products, due to their incorporation of recycled materials, will promote further demand gains. Demand gains will also be encouraged by the rebound of the residential construction from recent cyclical lows. Read in
Implementation of the European Union's REACH regulation may require 54 million research animals and 9.5 bln over the next 10 years, which represents 20 times the number of animals and six times the cost anticipated in previous estimates. Read details of the implications of the new REACH regulations in
Microscopic polymer beads change color instantly and reversibly when external magnetic fields acting upon the microspheres change orientation, in a new research. The research promises a novel kind of display technology for large sized rewritable outdoor displays and posters which will be inexpensive compared to its present day counterparts. Applications of the new material include display type units such as rewritable or reusable signage, posters, electronic papers and labels, and other magnetically activated security features. The new material can be used to make environment friendly pigments for paints and cosmetics, as well as ink materials for color printing. Read in
An extruder that exhibits enhanced efficiency in High Torque Applications with further reduction in residence time, thus increasing productivity by over 25% compared to conventional extruders, has been introduced by an Indian equipment maker into the US market. This equipment is designed for difficult processing polymer materials such as ETP, such as engineering plastics; colour, mineral and additive masterbatches; wood and natural fiber composites; cable compounds; and low bulk density materials. Read in
Nanomaterials weigh less, mold more easily on smaller presses and process dramatically faster. Hence, initial applications were motivated by cost savings relative to conventional resins, but long-term nanocomposites growth will come from enhancing value. Many technological advances have been made in nanocomposites, enabling suppliers to target profitable markets such as automotive and sports applications. This segment continues to be shrouded with technical problems and a price disadvantage. Read in
    
PRICE TRENDS for the week

NAPHTHA   
In line with rising crude oil values, naphtha prices in Asia have risen in the week of April 12, 2010. Open-spec prices rose to US$755/mt CFR...
ETHYLENE   
Ethylene prices have strengthened to US$1155/MT in Asia in the week of April 12, 2010, on rejuvenated demand from derivative sector...
PROPYLENE   
Propylene prices have propped up to US$1275/MT in Asia in the week of April 12, 2010. Spot propylene prices continue to rise due to export opportunities...
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