For most of 2013 and early 2014, polyethylene experienced a renaissance of sorts with the explosion of shale gas manufacturing and the increased supply of low cost raw materials. Pricing was flat or even reduced over this period of time, and converters turned to PE at ever-increasing rates.
With the flat pricing and increased supply chain for PE, the growth for polyethylene took its toll on producers of polypropylene, which did not receive the same type of relief in 2013 and 2014. With materials increasing in price at a rate which has become an industry norm, many processers overhauled tooling, processing, and marketing strategies to accommodate the now-cheaper polyethylene.
It was obviously too good to last.
As it pertains to the larger petrochemical industry, the plastics industry is likely always going to play the role of second fiddle to the higher value energy-driving products. Changing crack rates and variant cost of shale-gas driven commodities eventually drove feedstock suppliers to raise prices. At the recent Global Plastics Summit in Chicago, major processors such as Bemis and BWay alluded to the high price of polyethylene as a key factor which restricts growth versus alternative options.
Ultimately, consumers of petrochemical products need to diversify their supply chain. This allows them to insulate themselves from highly volatile feedstocks which have forced converters to weather the ebbs and flows. Simply offering various oil-based solutions has proven ineffective, which induces the industry to seek innovation.
One innovative method that we at Genarex are proud to present comes in the form of BYLOX HT. A highly effective, odor-free, thermally stable bioadditive, BYLOX HT is a safe, consistent, and inexpensive method for many converters to reduce their petrochemical consumption without sacrificing product performance. Come and see if our product is right for you!