Extrusion machinery holding ground as global headwinds linger logo-pn-color logo-pn-color

Extrusion machinery sales held their own in 2019, despite challenges of slowing economic growth, tariff wars and global uncertainty, machinery executives said. The blown and cast film machinery sector could be a victim of its own success, as several strong sales years could leave an overhang for 2020, some company officials said. In construction — a big market for extruders — vinyl is the top-selling choice for siding and windows for new single-family homes as well as remodeling. The newer category of luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank, which looks like wood flooring, has given new life to the vinyl flooring market. The National Association of Home Builders said total housing starts continued to make steady gains in October, increasing 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.31 million units. The sector of single-family starts increased 2 percent, to a pace of 936,000 for the year. The important rate of single-family starts has grown since May, said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Solid wage growth, healthy employment gains and an increase in household formations are also contributing to the steady rise in home production,” Dietz said. Remode...

BIR 2019: Deep discounts in place for aluminum scrap

China’s willingness to pump out primary aluminum while banning scrap imports has created low aluminum scrap prices worldwide. Aluminum scrap is flowing at record volumes from North America and Europe to India and Southeast Asia, but the new demand has not been enough “to fill the hole China is leaving behind,” according to a speaker at the Nonferrous Division meeting of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). The Brussels-based BIR held its 2019 World Recycling Convention in May in Singapore. Henry Van, a Singapore-based aluminum industry analyst with CRU International Ltd., said the action by China’s government to restrict scrap imports has created a “supply side shock” in the United States aluminum scrap market. China’s aluminum scrap import volumes in February 2019 “were the lowest in more than a decade,” said Van. Some of that scrap is still finding its way to China after being shipped to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and other nations near China, where it is melted and cast at facilities in those countries. Another beneficiary of the new supply glut is India, where investments in secondary production are being made by global firms including India-based Hindalco and Japan...