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Report sees slim gain for resins in 1992.

Reflecting a slack economy, shipments of plastics resins are estimated to have declined by 2% in real terms during 1991. This year, however, resin shipments are expected to increase almost 2% to $27 billion, as economic conditions improve, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report, U.S. Industrial Outlook 1992. In the longer term, the report says, plastics will continue to displace metal, glass, paper, and wood.

Regarding international competitiveness, the "U.S. plastics industry is highly competitive in world markets," says the report, with exports equivalent to about one fourth of plastics shipments. Mexico is a particularly important market for the plastics industry, according to the report, because of improved business confidence in that country and the prospect of a North American Free Trade Agreement, which is now under negotiation.

U.S. exports of plastics products, however, are expected to decline this year because of increasing international competition. And the overall growth in demand for plastics materials in the next five years is expected to be slow, according to the report. In addition, U.S. plastics resins exports can be expected to decline in relation to a percentage of overall world exports to 13% in the next five years, down from 25% in the 1970s.

The Outlook, which annually forecasts industrial output, studied 168 manufacturing industries and groups, with plastics ranking 15th among the 25 largest U.S. manufacturing sectors, measured by the value of shipments.
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Title Annotation:plastics resins shipment expected to increase by 2%
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:239
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