Plastic and rubber products also need to be improved when faced with challenges

Demand for plastic and rubber products will remain strong in 2021, although synthetic resin production will decline slightly due to outages and delivery issues.

These are the expectations of American Chemistry Council officials Kevin Swift and Martha Moore, who hosted a media webinar on June 22nd.

The global chemical and plastics markets “are pretty good,” said Swift, chief economist for the Washington-based ACC. “Demand is developing well everywhere except in countries like India. There will be a pickup in foreign trade.”

ACC expects US GDP to grow 6.4 percent in 2021, after falling 3.5 percent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. GDP growth of 4.3 percent is expected for 2022.

“The country is recovering,” said Swift. “The economy is currently strong. We are seeing a shift in consumer spending from goods to services, although there are some challenges due to labor shortages.”

According to Moore, ACC’s executive director of economics and policy analysis, U.S. demand for plastic and rubber products is expected to grow 6.9 percent this year, after falling 6.6 percent in 2020. Growth in this category of 2.4 percent is expected for 2022.

Plastic resins production is projected to decline 0.5 percent in 2021, largely due to the winter storm that hit Texas in February and impacted production on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Other factors such as port congestion, blockages in shipping lanes and a shortage of shipping containers will also affect resin production in 2021, Moore said.

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