Canadian Plastics

U.S. plastics industry maintained trade surplus in 2018, reports say

The size of the U.S. plastics industry expanded in 2018 while also maintaining a trade surplus of $500 million as consumption of plastics products continued to grow in the U.S., according to two new reports from the Plastics Industry Association.

November 1, 2019   Canadian Plastics

The size of the U.S. plastics industry expanded in 2018, accounting for 993,000 jobs and US$451.3 billion worth of shipments, while also maintaining a trade surplus of US$500 million as consumption of plastics products continued to grow in the U.S.

Each of these figures are key insights included in two new reports released today by the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association. The “2019 Size & Impact of the U.S. Plastics Industry” report focuses on the U.S. market, while “Global Business Trends” focuses on the U.S. plastics industry’s position in the global market.

“Our ability to provide the most insightful, actionable data to our members is a big part of our value proposition,” Plastics Industry Association president and CEO Tony Radoszewski said in a statement. “These two reports are the twin pillars that hold up the rest of our growing data apparatus. Taken together the reports show a dynamic U.S. plastics industry and a strong U.S. economy where the demand for plastics and plastics products continues to grow.”

Though the U.S. plastics industry is one of the only manufacturing sectors to have maintained a trade surplus for many years, the reports said, in 2018 the surplus did shrink from US$3.0 billion in 2017 to US$500 million in 2018.

“A strong U.S. dollar and sustained U.S. economic expansion has increased the economy’s propensity to consume imported goods, in addition to the use of imported intermediate goods in U.S. plastics manufacturing,” Plastics Industry Association chief economist Perc Pineda said. “This caused imports to rise faster than exports, which shrank our surplus, but it also indicates strong demand for plastics. The ‘2019 Global Trends’ report also indicated that apparent consumption of plastics industry goods, calculated as the difference between shipments and exports plus imports, grew by 6.9 per cent in 2018.”

Free summaries are available of both the “Size & Impact” and “Global Trends” reports are available at this link.


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