Sunday, November 14, 2010

That great sucking sound isn’t NAFTA

It’s the loss of thousands of man years of polyethylene and polypropylene technical marketing experience, lost to producer consolidations and plant closures. The producers relentless move to a do it yourself low touch polyethylene and polypropylene market strategy conflicts with the small NAFTA converters needs. Injection molders and small converters have also tried to reduce costs and resources to compete with the onslaught of finished goods coming in to the region from Asia and the consolidation in their markets from huge private equity and investment bank funded companies like Berry and Graham.

The polyethylene and polypropylene industry is 50+ years old and suffers as it enters a downward market growth phase in the developed economies of North America, Western Europe and Japan. Foreign companies like Sabic, Braskem, IPIC and Reliance seek to acquire North American polyethylene and polypropylene assets and technology at bargain basement prices. What the USA has is the technical experience that helped build a $100 billion global plastics industry employing millions. The polyethylene and polypropylene consulting industry has seen the recent retirement of experienced industry veterans like Dave Durand and Bob Baumann.

Joseph Congdon has left the position of Global Polypropylene Director at Townsend Solutions to start CPC.  A network of experienced subject matter experts CPC taps into a huge polyethylene and polypropylene technical and market knowledge base like no other company. The CPC focus is on smaller processers and new polymer producers who need experienced industry veterans rather than inexperienced analysts and report readers. is here to help solve technical problems. It contains pages of polyethylene and polypropylene troubleshooting and technical processing guides. They can help you solve processing problems today. For more difficult or personal technical problems, a CPC expert will call you for a free initial phone consult. We provide a quick estimate of how long it should take to answer your question or diagnose your processing problem and get you back operational.

Polyethylene and polypropylene converters will have to compete hard for slower growing markets. The swiftest, best informed and most efficient will prosper. CPC can provide reliable unbiased detailed polyethylene and polypropylene market intelligence.

Joe Congdon will blog monthly on the polyethylene and polypropylene trends and drivers, helping NAFTA polyethylene and polypropylene producers recover from the great recession by keeping his finger on that still weak pulse. This is not a pricing report. The CPC blog talks about the market dynamics and offers answers and opinions, as heard on the street. Let us know which of these subjects is most important for our next blog?
  • What effect global recovery and inventory restocking will have on NAFTA markets.
  • Is it really a recovery in NAFTA or a dead cat bounce?
  • How will shale gas impact the propylene ethylene price difference?
  • What will this mean to the exports of polyethylene and polypropylene from NAFTA.
  • What is driving growth in injection molded packaging, industrial, consumer and automotive parts, TPO roofing membranes, compounds and cost saving polyethylene and polypropylene grades.
  • When can you plan on the impending competition from low cost polyethylene and polypropylene from the Middle East?
  • The recession has eliminated the weak. With the huge capacity in production in both China and the Middle East the North American market will be permanently changed.
  • NAFTA is a shrinking world of polyethylene and polypropylene grades, producers and converters. To compete will require continued growth with investment in new and optimization of existing operations.