In the final installment of “2019 Market Trends: What’s Next for Plastics?”, Steve Emminger, market manager for rotational molding, and Peter Nutley, market manager for color & compounding, discuss market growth, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), new and/or improved product lines, increasing materials capacity, robotics, and sustainability. Here is what both Steve and Peter had to say:

ROTATIONAL MOLDING:

“In 2018, M. Holland saw significant growth in the rotational molding market. There were several mergers and acquisitions by larger firms who dominate their markets. Machinery producers experienced significant growth as converters expanded operations preparing for the multimillion-pound expansion of North American (NA) polyethylene capacity coming on line over the next two years. Converters also expanded operations by adding more lines or new plant locations to better service new or current clients, while reducing costs of logistics and services. M. Holland’s alignment with Nova Chemicals allowed us to grow and open many doors to new opportunities in the rotational molding market with Surpass products for applications demanding higher performance.

In 2019, we will continue to see converters filling new line capacity, new plants, and higher-than-normal market growth as new large-part product applications for rotational molding are being run and tested in quantity. Robotics will also be introduced at many new converter locations to address the tight labor market that prevented rotational molders from running at full capacity in 2018. To prepare and manage this key market focus in rotational molding, M. Holland has increased its sales, marketing, and technical support to expand our market share in this growing space.”

Plastic Resin Distributor M. Holland Steve Emminger – Authored by Steve Emminger, Former Market Manager, Rotational Molding

After 10 years with M. Holland, Steve Emminger is now retired. We thank him for sharing his expertise over the years and wish him every happiness in the road ahead. We look forward to sharing future Rotational Molding updates from Brian Brantley, Market Manager, Rotational Molding.

COLOR & COMPOUNDING:

“I’m excited and grateful to be leading such a dynamic market space like color & compounding. While I’ve not been in this role for long, I have made some observations that indicate an exciting future.

Growth

The global expansion of plastics production is a tide that is raising all boats, and color & compounding is no exception. The color and masterbatch market is expected to achieve a CAGR of 5.1 percent between now and 2021, achieving a value of $3.4 billion USD. The material compounding market is expected to grow at a CAGR of six percent, achieving a value of $50 billion USD by 2024.

Investment

Many companies are preparing for this growth by investing in new equipment and through acquisitions. Machine makers reported beating sales budgets in 2018 and expect that consistent growth to continue in 2019. Not all machine segments are growing though – 3D printing extruders are slowing as well as smaller diameter, quick-change compounding lines.

There have been at least eight significant material compounding investments through acquisitions or announced expansions in the NA region in 2018, with at least as many similar investments outside of the region. Additionally, we are seeing consolidations in the color and masterbatch market segment. Private equity is fueling this activity of consolidation to achieve efficiencies in scale or market focus, but the local color house is retaining its value offering to the market and will continue to grow in 2019.

Trends

Sustainability will continue to be a focus in solving the current plastic waste issue. In 2019, look for further investment and tangible examples of a circular economy in the plastics industry and for materials compounding to play a large role in the effort.

Differentiation with new materials is another trend I expect to see in 2019. While no new plastics have been created in some time, I expect to see specialty compounds being produced to address specific needs. Anything from cost reduction by adding high filler or recycled materials into prime feedstock, to improved functional fillers to produce customized physicals for demanding applications.”

Plastic Resin Distributor M. Holland Pete Nutley – Authored by Peter Nutley, Market Manager, Color & Compounding

 

At M. Holland, we’re looking forward to all the new opportunities 2019 will bring to each of our target market segments as well as the greater plastics industry. As the year progresses, we will keep you informed with regular market-specific updates as well as our quarterly Plastics News Fireside Chats.

Missed some of our previously published market insights? See below for a full list:

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