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    • Industry News

      China’s Import Ban of Recyclable Plastic Materials Generated Trade Surplus

      In January 2018, China banned the import of recyclable plastics and other materials, which defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) are broadly classified as waste, parings and scrap of plastics. In 2018, China's imports of recyclable plastics (HTS 391510, 391520, 391530, and 391590) decreased to 51,605 tons from 5.8 million tons in 2017. A year after the ban, China's imports decreased further to 924 tons—a 98.2% decline.
    • Industry News

      US-UK Free Trade Deal Will Benefit Plastics Trade

      While a free trade agreement between the US and the UK will benefit both countries, how important is the UK as a US plastics trade partner?
    • Industry News

      The U.S. Plastics Industry in 2020 in Seven Charts

      As we count down to the close of the year, the U.S. plastics industry's performance in 2020 can be summarized in seven charts. While these charts are not all-inclusive, they provide an overview of the industry's performance this year against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Industry News

      Plastics Industry CapEx Increased in Recent Years. Will it Continue?

      Business investment spending on nonresidential structures, such as factories or warehouses, equipment, and intellectual property, are referred to as capital expenditures or CapEx. Businesses spend to acquire, improve, or maintain such long-term assets to sustain and enhance efficiency or capacity. The rise and fall of business investment go hand in hand with the businesses' confidence in economic growth. CapEx in the U.S. nonfinancial sector moves with shifts in manufacturing confidence.
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      Industry News

      Automotive: Plastics End-Market Recovery Takes Shape

      Consumer engagement improved at the close of the second quarter even though the economy was not at full employment. Retail sales in June, July, and August were higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. Auto and light truck sales also started to increase from the April lows. The same pattern of improvement emerged in automotive production and assemblies.
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      Industry News

      Plastics Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Improved in August

      Following the decline in plastics products manufacturing in April, the latest data from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System of the U.S. shows continuing improvements over the past four months. Although the industrial production index on plastics products is still running below the pre-COVID-19 level, the path reversed from April's low.
    • Perc Pineda Economist Headshot

      Industry News

      Trade in Molds for Plastics Manufacturing: A V-shaped Recovery

      As far as the U.S. plastics industry, exports of plastics molds in June were 36% above June 2019. Imports were up 4.0% from a year ago. Both exports and imports of molds are back to pre COVID-19 levels. This could be an indication that demand at plastics processors has picked up in both domestic and export markets since the lockdowns in March.
    • Industry News

      Bloomberg News' Error-Filled Plastics Article

      We create forums for experts to explore product life cycles and the problem of marine debris. In addition to the RECOVER Act, we support the Save Our Seas Act 2.0, another bipartisan bill to prevent waste in the oceans. Far from a “pariah,” as the reporter might hope, PLASTICS agrees with the majority of Americans who abhor litter and want to protect the environment. Plastic companies are leading the global effort. 
    • Industry News

      Early Signs of an Upturn from the Great Economic Disruption?

      While there are statistical improvements, monthly data tend to be noisy and there will be residual effects on what I call the great economic disruption. Government-mandated lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic interrupted an economy that has been chugging along. Nevertheless, these early signs of improvements provide some clues. For instance, plastics and rubber shipments decreased 9.1% or $1.8 billion in April from March, based on the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.