02 April 2012 15:14 [Source: ICIS news]
ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--The US plastics sector should see steady growth for years to come, a top industry official said on Monday, as the US economy continues to expand, export demand increases and China’s manufacturing cost advantage erodes.
Bill Carteaux, president of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), told a press conference that the plastics sector “has fared very well since the recession”.
Speaking on the first full day of the 2012 international NPE plastics conference and exhibition, Carteaux said that he expects the ?xml:namespace>
“Manufacturing, and especially plastics manufacturing, will play a significant role in that continued growth,” he said.
The last NPE event, held in
The recession officially ended in June 2009, and the
“This is a resilient industry, and things are not sombre as they were in 2009,” Carteaux said.
“We are seeing a lot of restoring in the US manufacturing sector,” he said, “and the labour cost advantage that China once held is changing, those labour costs are going up, as are other costs there.”
“When you add in energy and shipping costs for
Carteaux said that the new abundance of natural gas supplies from shale formations in the
This year’s NPE is the first to be held since
Carteaux noted that US resins manufacturing uses natural gas for 80% of its feedstock, giving US producers a cost advantage over foreign plastics firms who use more costly oil-derived naphtha feedstocks.
“Shale gas is creating a positive future for our industry, perhaps for decades to come,” he said.
In addition to a growing feedstock cost advantage and increasing production and shipping costs in Asia, Carteaux said the
He said the sector saw exports increase by 24.2% in 2010 from the prior year to a total of $341bn (€256bn). The plastics industry’s trade surplus also grew significantly in 2010, rising by more than 27% from the prior year to $16.2bn.
Carteaux said that part of the expected growth for the
Sponsored by SPI, the NPE conference and exhibition opened on Sunday and runs through Thursday.
As many as 60,000 registered participants are expected to attend, and more than 1,900 companies are exhibiting their products and services on the
($1 = €0.75)
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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