First Research US Industry Profile

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Plastic Resin & Synthetic Fiber Manufacturing
SIC Codes: 2821, 2822, 2823, 2824
NAICS Codes: 3252
Last Quarterly Update: 6/24/2019
Companies in this industry manufacture acrylics, amino resins, epoxy, and other thermosets, as well as thermoplastics such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polystyrene (PS). Major companies include Celanese, Chevron Phillips, Dow, DuPont, Hexion, and Huntsman (all based in the US), along with Alfa (Mexico), BASF (Germany), China National Chemical Corporation, LG Chem (South Korea), LyondellBasell Industries (the Netherlands), Nan Ya Plastics (Taiwan), and Sumitomo Chemical (Japan).
The global plastic resin and synthetic fiber industry generates annual revenue of about $630 billion. Top plastic-producing countries include China, Germany, Japan, and the US. Nations such as China and India, where demand for construction and consumer goods has risen, are being targeted for industry growth.
The US plastic resins and synthetic fibers manufacturing industry consists of about 1,400 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $95 billion.
Competitive Landscape
Demand depends on the level of manufacture of plastic products, which is closely linked to US industrial production. Because resin manufacture is a high-volume process, the profitability of individual companies depends on operating efficiencies. Large companies have significant economies of scale in production and in the purchase of raw materials. Smaller companies can compete effectively by producing specialty resins and fibers. Many smaller companies buy commodity resins from large producers and rework them into specialty compounds. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 80% of industry revenue.
Imports and exports are sizable because of the high value of specialty resins compared to their weight. Resin imports to the US come mainly from Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, and Mexico. Overall, imports account for about 25% of the US market. Exports from the US, which account for about 35% of production, primarily go to Mexico and Canada, largely for use in products re-imported to the US. Other major export markets are China and Belgium.
Products, Operations & Technology
The two basic types of plastic resins are thermosets, which harden permanently after they are cured by heat, and thermoplastics, which may be hard or soft ... plus:
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