PLASTICS' Chief Economist Weighs In on Harvey Impact

In 2016, Texas ranked third in the U.S. for plastics employment and first in plastics industry shipments.

Perc Pineda, the chief economist of PLASTICS hired this past April, issued a statement on the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey on Sept. 1, with a focus on the plastics industry.

“For us in the plastics industry, we watched the news with sympathy for our colleagues impacted by the hurricane. So many companies that are critical to the vitality of our industry are located in Houston, Texas and neighboring areas that were affected.”

His overview:

  • Harvey will continue to impact plastics shipments in the U.S. depending on how long plastics businesses remain shut down and how fast they are back to full operations. This makes it impractical to estimate the cost of this hurricane on the plastics industry at this juncture. However, the prominence of Texas on the U.S. plastics industry provides pointers.
  • Last year, Texas ranked third in the U.S. for plastics employment. Moreover, Texas ranked first in plastics industry shipments. The estimated value of total plastics industry shipments in Texas last year was slightly over $68 billion; that translates to $1.3 billion/week, comprising about 16.8% of shipments in the U.S. “If we look at plastic materials and resins alone, the value of shipments in Texas last year was $37.1 billion, which is 45% of shipments in the U.S.”
  • Of the 49 Plastics Industry Association members in Texas, 16 are in Houston, Texas.
  • Considering that Texas is home to a number of plastics dependent industries that use plastics to make products or provide services, the transitory negative impact of Harvey will have far-reaching, non-permanent effects—both upstream and downstream.