Yolanda Simonsis is a 38-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

Response to PET Shortage

Good News: Demand for PET is UP! Bad News: Prices are way UP too! If that weren’t bad enough, availability is still in short supply and is expected to remain that way–unless we have a double-dip recession. Now that’s definitely not good news!

With DuPont having fully shut down PET film capacity at it’s Florence, SC, plant–likely because of the lack of demand–converters, specifically those requiring film for packaging applications, are now finding themselves caught between a rock and a hard spot because of reduced availability elsewhere in the world. In a letter sent to Filmquest’s customers on August 16, president John Felinski said, “From all the indicators which we constantly monitor, we believe pricing can possibly stabilize late in the fourth quarter; however, it is still far too early to determine when PET film prices may begin to decrease.” Filinski expects in the near term that “the PET film supply will remain very tight and global shortages will continue to be a major challenge.”

New capacity for BOPET from Mexico-based Flex Americas S.A. de C.V. won’t be seen until next year, so people will just have to ride out the storm as Felinski plans to do. And there are some alternatives, says Toray Plastics (America). The company says its Torayfan PC3 metallized OPP delivers barrier durability suitable for metallized PET and foil applications.

Says Franco Chicarella, product manager, Torayfan Div., ““CPGs and converters are discovering that PC3 film is fit for use in metallized PET and foil applications owing to its superior moisture barrier and improved oxygen barrier, as compared with traditional metallized OPP films. PC3 film gives them the barrier durability they need to serve their customers and weather the crisis, a welcome benefit in cost savings, and faster delivery. We think there will be long-term adopters among those choosing PC3 metallized OPP film.”

It should be noted that production has shifted to thicker PET films for consumer electronics applications–a market Filinski describes as booming.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat! What has your resonse been to this global PET shortage? What are you doing to maintain supplies? Are you passing costs along to your customers? How have they responded? Post your comments here by clicking on “Leave a Comment.”

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