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Antioxidant growth continues despite high feedstock costs

Global growth of antioxidant additives is expected to show a 5%/yr increase from 2004 to 2009 despite higher feedstock prices, reports the recently published Plastics Additives VI study from Townsend Polymer Services & Information (Houston, TX). "Antioxidant prices have increased up to 30% during the last 18 months, after a long period of severe price erosion due to global competition, commoditization, economic downturns, and previous patent expiration," says Fred Gastrock, project manager for Townsend.

Global antioxidant consumption exceeded 700 million lb last year, valued at $750 million, Gastrock says. On a volume basis, Asia Pacific, excluding China, was the largest consuming region with nearly 30%, followed by Europe and North America with about 25% each. China and the rest of the world represented the remaining 20%.

Chinese consumption, however, is expected to almost double in the next five years due to rapid build up of resin production, and by 2009 it should represent 10% of the worldwide antioxidant total, up from a consumption figure of 6% last year.

"Antioxidant consumption tracks global resin production more closely than any other additive because essentially all plastics produced use some [of the additive]," he says. Polyolelfins account for almost 55% usage while vinyl (which uses antioxidants as a secondary heat stabilizer) and styrenics take 25%, reports Townsend. -Robert Colvin; [email protected]

TAGS: Business
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