Is it possible that we may see a resurgence of the nearly extinct t-shirt bag business in North America? My colleague Jim Callari for one, with his many ‘feelers’ in this industry has been planning to explore this issue for an upcoming article.
And, just today, in the midst of a PE pricing update as we approach the midpoint of the last month of 2013, Mike Burns, v.p. of PE for Resin Technologies, Inc. (RTi; resinpros.com) mentioned industry reports that a new U.S. manufacturer may soon surface to join the lone t-shirt bag maker remaining. This came up as Burns was ticking off factors that he ventures are likely to be behind upward domestic PE pricing at least for the first half of 2014, including: High PE prices in Asia and tight inventories (China accounts for most of the t-shirt bag production) and a PE import business factor that has decreased significantly.
Add to that a domestic PE market that has been primarily dominated this year by contract buyers buying up material to meet demand and the influence of a secondary and exports PE market that has largely dwindled away in contrast to previous years. He notes that not only do spot PE prices closely approach contract prices but the delta between good-quality and the lowest-end secondary market off-grade material is now very narrow.
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