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Plastics Shortages, Price Increases Result from Harvey’s Aftermath

Companies know that climate change and severe weather events can significantly impacts their business, but preparing for such events can be a challenge. Effects from storms can be unpredictable, far-reaching and last for months or even years. Beyond storm and flood damage, other issues can raise the prices of the materials companies need to conduct business, for example. Rail, port and truck logistical issues caused by Hurricane Harvey have led to shortages of polyethylene and polypropylene (PP), writes Plastics News. Manufacturers in the packaging, food, and consumer goods sectors, among others, have been scrambling to get their hands on enough materials for their operations.

The shortage of PP – used extensively in the auto industry as well as in the packaging industry – is more acute than the shortage of polyethylene. PP can be made into bottles, food containers, pallets, and more; 70% of the PP use is for the packaging needs of the food industry, according to CA-based company Global Plastic Sheeting.


Prices Jump, with More Increases to Come

In addition to a shortage of materials, prices are expected to “increase significantly” in September and October, according to Samantha Hartke, product manager with Houston-based market analyst PetroChem Wire.

Hartke says she wouldn’t be surprised by more increases in November and December.



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