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Chemical Week Magazine :: Cover Story

Plastics: Trade flows shift as feedstock, technologies provide new advantages

6:56 AM MDT | May 23, 2014 | —Francinia Protti-Alvarez

US competitiveness in polyethylene production and the growing use of coal-to-olefin technologies to produce polypropylene in China promise to alter trade flows for these products. Overcapacity continues to cloud the global outlook for polyvinyl chloride, but North American producers are considerably advantaged thanks to shale gas, which enables them to gain market share in South America. Polystyrene, meanwhile, is recovering, and Asia is expected to drive further growth.

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