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Taiwanese supplier to cease manufacturing foam grades

May 27/2011

(Plastics Today) -- The booming solar encapsulant film market has prompted one Taiwanese supplier to cease manufacturing foam grades for footwear altogether and instead focus 1500 tonnes/month of its capacity on this application alone. The supplier in question, USI Corp. (Taipei) has now outsourced footwear grade production to sister company Asia Polymer Corp. (Taipei).

Solar grade prices have peaked at USD 3300 per tonne, according to Kevin Huang, Deputy Marketing Manager at USI. Foam grades are reportedly currently pegged at USD 2850-2900 per tonne CIF Ningbo, while hot melt grades have reached USD 3250.

Huang does feel the market for EVA sheet may have peaked, however, because sheet converters have over-invested in extrusion capacity in Japan, China and the U.S. just as some countries are starting to withdraw subsidies for solar panel insulation and a large inventory of unsold solar panels starts tp build.

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