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US plastics industry forecasts a turnaround in 2021 after a marginal decline in 2020

On Monday, September 27, 2021 at 05:05 IST

After a marginal decline in 2020, the plastics industry in the United States is forecast to see a turnaround with a 2 per cent growth in the calendar year 2021.

According to the annual report titled ‘Size and Impact Report’ published by the Plastics Industry Association, the US plastics industry shipment recorded a marginal 0.9 per cent growth in 2020, despite several challenges including Covid, shipment issues and high freight rates.

The report highlights that plastics is the 8th largest industry in the United States and accounted for almost one million jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in shipment last year.

“The Covid - 19 pandemic disrupted a thriving US economy affecting many industries including plastics. This resulted in an estimated 0.9 per cent decrease in the real value of shipments in plastics manufacturing. The marginal downtick in shipments reflects the capacity and commitment of the plastics industry to meet the demands of the manufacturing and consumer sectors, particularly in a stressful macroeconomic environment,” said Perc Pineda, Chief Economist, Plastics Industry Association.

Looking at recent trends, mergers and acquisitions activities are likely to increase. Also, value addition in plastics and rubber industries is set to go up. Pineda said that the consumption rate of plastics products in the United States is very high. “More than 60 per cent of plastics products are consumed domestically. Therefore, the impact of Covid related disruptions was not severe on the US plastics industry,” Pineda said.

According to the report, the outlook for the plastics industry for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 will be linked to the global economic recovery. The global economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic underscored the importance of a well-functioning global supply chain. The plastics industry could continue to face labour and supply chain-related headwinds ahead.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult test for the plastics industry, but it has proven our durability and resilience as the data continues to demonstrate our positive impact on America’s economy,” said Tony Radoszewski, President and Chief Executive Officer, Plastics Industry Association.

According to the report, the plastics industry continued its multi-decade track record of strength as compared to the overall US manufacturing sector. Since 1997, the US plastics industry has outpaced all US manufacturing sectors in terms of growth in real shipments, real value adition, productivity growth and employment.

Catering to the entire plastics value chain, the Plastics Industry Association represents nearly one million workers in the $395 billion US industry.


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