Montachem Welcomes:


Mr. Vivek A. Sharma is joining Montachem as a Sales Representative for East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

Vivek is originally from India and holds university degrees in Accounting and Commerce and he has been living in Nairobi, Kenya for a number of years. He has worked in several India and Kenyan companies in different management roles, including a commercial role at a resin distributor. Vivek will be reporting to JC Avila and working closely with Camilo Rios, Sales Manager EMEA to continue driving our growth in this continent.


Please join me in welcoming Vivek to our organization and support him accordingly! He can be reached at



Market Update:

Oil Update:

OPEC moves to cap Nigerian oil output, boost compliance

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq and OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo attend a meeting of the 4th OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia July 24, 2017.

Oil ended higher Monday, as news that Saudi Arabia has pledged to lower crude exports and Nigeria plans to limit its production sent prices higher for the first time in three sessions.

September West Texas Intermediate crude CLU7, +0.92%  rose by 57 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $46.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. September Brent crude LCOU7, +0.68%  on London’s ICE Futures exchange tacked on 54 cents, or 1.1%, to $48.60 a barrel. Oil prices posted declines in each of the last two sessions.

Energy ministers from major crude-producing nations gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia Monday, as part of a monthly meeting held to monitor compliance with crude production limits set by an agreement led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that began at the start of the year.

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Katya Golubkova, Vladimir Soldatkin and Rania El Gamal, “OPEC moves to cap Nigerian oil output, boost compliance”, Reuters, July 24, 2017


New Plastic:


New PE resin about to hit US while PP plays waiting game

Scott Newell of Resin Technology Inc.

Chicago — A whole bunch of new polyethylene resin is heading toward North American buyers, but users of polypropylene will have to wait a while longer.

That was the word from resin market analysts Mike Burns and Scott Newell at the Plastics News Financial Summit 2017, June 9 in Chicago. Both Burns and Newell are with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.

“[PE] is oversupplied globally, and that has the biggest impact on price,” said Burns. “North America has to export 20 percent of the polyethylene it makes to stay balanced.

“Our costs are so cheap that feedstocks don’t drive PE pricing,” he added. “It’s driven by things like unplanned outages and supply dumps.”

The market will be tested by a 20 percent increase in North American capacity in the next two to three years. “We’re adding a lot of capacity, but demand isn’t growing 5 percent globally,” Burns said.
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Frank Esposito, “New PE resin about to hit US while PP plays waiting game”, Plastics News, June 24, 2017





At the 2017 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit, Paul Benvenuti, sales manager at Commercial Plastics Recycling, offers his thoughts about some of the misconceptions the public has about plastics recycling, and how improving recycling can actually have an impact on consumers.







Spot resin trading continued to hum along at a healthy pace and transacted volumes were again heavily skewed towards Polyethylene over Polypropylene. The flow of offers for both groups of resins slowed, particularly for CoPP, which has become notably tight, leaving unsatisfied demand in this market segment. Spot PE prices were steady to lower depending on grade, as premiums between the key commodities settle back towards more historical levels. Producers are largely looking toward August as an opportunity to raise domestic PE contracts by $.03/lb, although some never relinquished their hopes in July. PP producers also have their eye on a $.03-.05/lb increase slated for August. Export markets in general picked up a bit, with better demand coming from Mexico.

The major energy markets moved modestly lower and September rolled to the front month for US products. WTI Crude Oil shed just less than a dollar; the Sept futures contract ended the week at $45.54/bbl. Sept Brent Oil futures gave back $.85/bbl and settled Friday at $48.06/bbl. Natural Gas prices were nicely higher through Thursday, but gave up the gains and then some. The Sept contract went into the weekend at $2.961/mmBtu, a penny in the red. Spot Ethane was essentially unchanged at $.25/gal ($.106/lb); Propane added more than $.02/gal to $.655/gal ($.186/lb).

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Plastics in Public Policy:


UK to ban microbeads in cosmetic products

The United Kingdom government is to introduce a ban on the sale and manufacture of microbeads in cosmetic and personal care products, including tooth pastes, later this year.

Environment secretary Michael Gove announced July 21 that the ban on the tiny pieces of plastic, which can be swallowed by marine life, is part of the government’s pledge to reduce plastic waste in oceans.

The ban will be effective June 30, 2018, a day before a similar ban takes effect in the United States.

Gove’s comments came on the same day as new figures revealed that more than nine billion fewer plastic bags were used since the government introduced a 5 pence charge in October 2015. This showed an 83 percent drop in plastic bag consumption.
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Shahrzad Pouriahi, “UK to ban microbeads in cosmetic products”, Plastics News, July 24, 2017



International News:


China to WTO: Scrap plastic imports banned by year-end

A family working in a Jiangsu landfill, sifting through garbage in search of any valuable items. China told the World Trade Organization July 18 that it will ban imports of scrap plastics and other “foreign garbage” by the end of the year, officially taking a step that had been widely rumored in the industry.

The move drew quick criticism from a recycling industry trade group in the United States, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, which said it would be “devastating” to the global recycling industry and cost thousands of U.S. jobs. ISRI said the ban would include most scrap plastics, including PET, PVC, polyethylene and polystyrene, as well as mixed papers and slag.
China’s government said it was taking the action to protect public health and the environment.

“We found that large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials,” China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a notification to WTO. “This polluted the environment seriously.”
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Steve Toloken,”China to WTO: Scrap plastic imports banned by year-end”, Plastics News, July 18, 2017


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