The looming concerns for the plastics manufacturers in 2024 and beyond

In the ever-evolving landscape of the plastics industry, procurement directors and managers play a pivotal role in navigating the challenges and opportunities that arise.

As we move forward into 2024, it’s essential to identify the challenges and concerns that are shaping the future of plastics industry.

Here are the crucial factors to consider:

Sustainable Sourcing:

As per EU regulation 55% of packaging waste must be recycled by 2030, how can the industry reach the target? What are the bottlenecks and risk factors? Some countries within Europe have started introducing plastic tax non-recycled packaging how will this impact input cost?

Supply Chain Resilience:

Supply chain bottlenecks reached its peak in 2022 when freight from Asia to Europe reached nine times pre-pandemic level. In 2023 freight rates dropped below pre-pandemic level due to demand adjustment and supply improvement. But situation stays fragile, can the industry adjust to a sudden jump in demand given that inventory down the value chain has depleted much below normal?

Circular Economy Initiatives:

Embracing the circular economy model can reduce waste and boost efficiency. Procurement directors should consider partnerships with companies committed to recycling and reusing plastics to create a more sustainable and cost-effective production cycle

Raw Material Price Volatility:

Fluctuating raw material prices are causing heightened uncertainty and keeping sourcing managers on the edge. Is volatility, uncertainty new normal? What are the driving factors? What tools can be deployed to limit risks arising out of volatility, how some of the companies are getting better at managing uncertainty

Understanding the implications these market dynamics have on your procurement strategy will be crucial in helping you prepare for and elevate your strategic approach for 2024 and beyond.


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On-demand Webinar – Global Polyolefins Markets 2023 Review

Macroeconomic, geopolitical, security conditions globally remain volatile, exacerbated by pandemic, war, and inflation and supply chain distortions. The forward view is increasingly clouded by shifts towards energy security ahead of energy transition, changes in consumer behavior, monetary tightening after a decade of loose policy, and globalization vs localization strategy changes.


What are the implications of these evolving factors on the polyolefin industry? Is the period of prosperity over for global producers? Will there be a sign of recovery?
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Plastics & Polymers Global Team

Joel Morales

Joel Morales Vice President, Polyolefins Americas Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Joel Morales is the Vice President of Polyolefins Americas at Chemical Market Analytics.

Joel joined the company in March 2013 to cover Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) in North America. He began his career in 1999 with polyolefins manufacturer Solvay Polymers, which later became Ineos, in technical services and product development before he moved into field sales. After five years at Solvay Polymers, Joel moved into resin distribution sales for both Muehlstein and then United Polychem as a Product Manager, where he managed and sold polyethylene and polypropylene resins into various customer segments. In his most recent role before joining Chemical Market Analytics (CMA), Joel was a purchasing manager for Silgan Plastics, a major blow-molding and injection molding plastics converter. He has brought a wealth of industry knowledge to Chemical Market Analytics through multiple stints along the plastics value chain.

Joel works closely within the Americas with resin producers, converters, and third parties covering the polyolefin markets. Joel speaks regularly around the world as a polyolefin market expert. He is the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report, the North American PE Report and the North American PP Report.

Joel graduated from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in psychology.




Utpal Sheth

Utpal Sheth Vice President, APAC Plastics & Polymers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Utpal Sheth is the Vice President of APAC Plastics & Polymers at Chemical Market Analytics

Utpal joined the Dubai office of CMAI (now Chemical Market Analytics) in October 2007 to cover the plastics (PE, PP, PVC) market in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. He moved to Singapore in 2014 and is currently the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report – Asia, Middle East and India, the Asia PE Report, and the Asia PP Report.

He has brought a wealth of industry knowledge to Chemical Market Analytics through multiple stints along the plastics value chain. He supports the Circular Plastics Service of Chemical Market Analytics, which provides deep insights into the rapidly evolving sustainability issues in the Plastics Business. He also contributes to Consulting Studies and Long-Term Supply, Demand & Price Outlook for the Asian markets.

Utpal began his career at Reliance Industries in India’s Sales and Marketing Division. He started as a field sales executive and was the Regional Head of Polyethylene Business when he left after 12 years. Subsequently, he moved to Dubai to lead the region’s Polyethylene Sales Team of Qatar Petrochemicals.

Utpal graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (specialization in Plastics) and a Master of Business Administration (specialization in Marketing).

Anthony Palmer

Anthony Palmer Vice President, Global Circular Plastic Sustainability Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Anthony J. Palmer is Vice President of Chemical Market Analytics (by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company).

Mr. Palmer is responsible for the Circular Plastics and Chemicals Sustainability business for the Base Chemicals and Plastics group. In this role, he coordinates the Research and Insight activities associated with carbon emissions and plastics reuse, reduction, and recycling. Special focuses include mechanical and chemical recycling technology and economics, plastic waste supply and logistics, company ESG initiatives and strategic responses to sustainability, and macroindustry implications.

Before his current position, Mr. Palmer managed the Chemical Consulting Group at IHS Markit, where he directed engagements for clients interested in the business, technical, and financial aspects of the energy, chemicals, and related process industries. His areas of interest included strategic business management, financial and acquisition analysis, technology assessment, capital project planning, manufacturing strategy, international project development, expert witness/litigation support, and material supply strategy. Mr. Palmer’s consulting activities focused on helping companies plan and implement business and corporate development programs worldwide.

In addition to his current activities, Mr. Palmer is an adjunct professor of management at Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business Administration, where he teaches courses in strategic management. Mr. Palmer was a founding director at CPI Consulting Associates, whose operations were merged into Chemical Market Associates (CMAI). In 2011, IHS Markit acquired CMAI and formed IHS Chemical. Previously, Mr. Palmer was a Chem Systems (Nexant) principal and started his career at Exxon Corporation. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Manhattan College and an MBA in finance and international business from Fordham University.

Alan Wei

Alan Wei Executive Director, China Polyolefins Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Alan Wei is the Executive Director for China Polyolefins at Chemical Market Analytics.

Alan is a result-oriented professional with more than 16 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, Technology, and Product Development, and, finally, assuming the role of analyzing and researching the fundamentals of Supply and Demand for the China Polyolefins market. Proven track record as a versatile Senior manager with demonstrated ability to drive the achievement of results in challenging market environments.

In China, he works closely with key partners across the value chain of the petrochemical industry, keeping track of industry evolution and offering insightful studies. His current focus includes overseeing the ‘China Polyolefins Mandarin Report’ and the newly initiated ‘China Polyolefins English bi-weekly Report’ to serve English-speaking audiences globally.

Strength in connecting with customers & relationship management with key decision makers, grasping end-use demand commercially and technically. He worked for several top global suppliers and distributors previously. Mr. Wei has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from East China University of Science and Technology.

Nick Vafiadis

Nick Vafiadis Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Nick Vafiadis is the Vice President of the Plastics & Polymers business at Chemical Market Analytics.

34 years, including critical roles in sales, sales management, product management, and business line management in the plastics, surfactants, and consulting industries.
Nick is a 30+ year chemical and plastics industry veteran and manages Chemical Market Analytics’ global plastics practice. Nick’s daily responsibilities include analysis, consulting, and reporting on the global polyolefins market and managing global operations associated with producing and developing various plastics reports. Concurrently, he contributes to single-client projects and studies related to the polyolefins industry. In his earlier assignments, he was responsible for consulting duties associated with the Chlor-alkali and vinyl product chain. He has contributed to the Monomers Market Report, the Chlor-Alkali Market Report, and the Global Plastics & Polymers Market Report.

He has been with Chemical Market Analytics and its predecessor companies since 2002. Before 2002, he spent twelve years with Vista Chemical Company, where he held assignments in marketing, product management, and sales management in the vinyl and surfactant business areas. Mr. Vafiadis holds a Management BBA from The University of Texas at Austin, United States.

Martin Wiesweg

Martin Wiesweg Executive Director, EMEA Polymers Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Mr. Wiesweg is the Executive Director of Polymers for EMEA Plastics at Chemical Market Analytics

Martin Wiesweg is the executive director of the polymers team in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics. His primary responsibilities focus on polystyrene, expandable polystyrene (EPS) and PET resin. With over 30 years of experience, Martin is a key resource within the business for understanding and insights into the polymer sector of the petrochemical industry.

He works closely with the European plastics industry in the EMEA region, from producers to converters and brand owners, bringing insights and guidance throughout the polymer chains. His current area of focus includes oversight of the ‘European Plastics and Polymers Report, contributing to various reports, e.g., Global Plastics and Polymers Report, Global PET Stream Report and European Aromatics Monomer Report. as well as primary input and insight for the World Polystyrene, EPS and PET resin analyses. He is also an expert on plastics sustainability, supporting Chemical Market Analytics’s circular plastics service.

Before Chemical Market Analytics, Martin spent over 20 years in the petrochemical industry. Within Huels AG, BP Chemical and Ineos Nova, he has had many responsibilities in technical and commercial departments, including technical service, marketing, sales and head of commercial management for speciality polymers.

Mr. Wiesweg holds a master’s degree in Physics from the University of Paderborn, Germany.




Brendan Dooley

Brendan Dooley Executive Director, Global Engineering Plastics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Brendan Dooley is the Executive Director of the Engineering Plastics service at Chemical Market Analytics.

Brendan serves as the Global Executive Director of Engineering Plastics and leads the publication of the monthly Global Engineering Resins Report and the annual World Analysis reports covering polycarbonate, ABS, nylon 6, nylon 66, PBT and POM. He speaks about the costs, prices, capacities, and trade of engineering polymers and contributes to single- and multi-client consulting projects on engineering polymers.

Brendan is a chemical engineer and MBA with 30 years of experience in the engineering plastics industry as a North American Sales Director, Managing Director in the United Kingdom, Business Manager in Mexico, Global Automotive Account Director, North American and Europe Product Manager and many other commercial and business management roles across North America and Europe with leading global engineering plastics producers before joining the company in 2015.

Robin Waters

Robin Waters Executive Director, Circular Plastics & Chemicals Sustainability Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Robin Waters is the Executive Director of Chemical Market Analytics.

Robin is responsible for content development for the Circular Plastics business for the Base Chemicals & Plastics group.

In this role, Mr. Waters manages the Research & Insight for the Circular Plastics Service, which covers the dynamics and implications of the plastics transition from a linear to a circular economy. His responsibilities cover a broad spectrum of the circular plastics value chain, including regulations and policies, mechanical- and chemical-recycle technology and economics, plastic waste supply and disposition, price and margin projections, strategic responses to sustainability, evaluation of new business models and macro-industry implications. He also serves as a subject matter expert for other market advisory services, single-client projects, and polyolefins and plastics sustainability studies.

Mr. Waters joined Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS on June 1, 2022, following the acquisition of IHS Markit Base Chemicals, having joined IHS Markit in September 2012 as Director of Polyolefins North America. He brings over 30 years of industry experience with DuPont and LyondellBasell in various commercial management roles in the polyolefins, specialty polymers and plastic films industries.

Robin received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Georgia and an MBA from the University of Miami.


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