PE, PS, and PVC prices remained flat or softened further in February, aided by slack demand and lower feedstock costs.

PE, PS, and PVC prices remained flat or softened further in February, aided by slack demand and lower feedstock costs. But PP was a different story: Prices were rising and supply was tight.

 

PE prices down

Polyethylene prices dropped 2¢/lb in February, following slippage of 8¢/lb in the two previous months. That left prices about 26¢/lb above where they were at the start of 2005.

Suppliers tried to reverse the downward momentum with 5¢/lb price increases for March 1. Last month, prices were also moving up at the London Metal Exchange, where the March short-term futures contract for g-p blown film butene LLDPE sold at 58.5¢/lb, up from February’s 55.6¢ and January’s 51.26¢/lb.

Contributing factors: Resin tabs in December and January sank under the weight of weaker demand as processors drew down inventories. Ethylene monomer also dropped 3¢/lb in January, having held at about 56.3¢/lb for a few months. February contracts looked set to drop another penny.

Although resin demand started to pick up by the end of January, competitive action drove prices a couple of cents lower. However, suppliers appear to be optimistic about prospects for the March 1 price hike, even if it may not be implemented until next month. On Jan. 31, Nova Chemicals reported that repairs had been completed at its Ontario feedstock facilities and its PE and PP production was returning to normal.

Industry sources expect prices to firm up and perhaps move higher as the year progresses. There is very little inventory throughout the supply chain, and resin capacity utilization is expected to rise from the high 80s to above 90%.

 

PP prices up

Polypropylene prices were on the rise last month as suppliers fully implemented a 4¢/lb increase. Between mid-January and Feb. 1, new price initiatives brought the total increase being sought to 8¢ to 10¢/lb. Some suppliers called for an increase of 10¢ on Feb. 1 while several others issued new hikes of 4¢ to 6¢/lb for Feb. 15.

The London Metal Exchange’s March short-term futures contract for g-p injection-grade homopolymer rose to 54.9¢/lb, from February’s 52.2¢ and January’s 47.85¢/lb.

Contributing factors: One factor behind the uptick in prices is pressure from monomer. January propylene contracts were up 4.5¢/lb and February contracts were expected to gain another 5¢ or more. Unplanned reactor outages tightened monomer supply.

Resin supply is tight as well, with supplier inventory levels below 40 days, while plant utilization rates are around 95% or more. Suppliers report a large increase in demand, only partially explained by inventory replenishment.

 

PVC drops 1.5¢

PVC producers’ 2¢/lb increase for Feb. 1 was postponed when Formosa told customers in mid-February that they could cut 1.5¢/lb off their contract price, and processors expect to pay even less.

Contributing factors: Attempts to raise PVC prices in January and February failed, as PVC demand has been soft with no sign yet of spring buying or inventory building. Siding and window production remain strong, but pipe demand is soft since December.

Spot prices for vinyl feedstocks were also lower in mid-February. Natural gas was at $7/MM Btu, down from its peak of $8 to $9 last year.

 

PS prices flat

Attempts to raise polystyrene prices 6¢ in February were delayed. Both PS and EPS were expected to remain flat for the month.

Contributing factors: PS prices held in February because contract benzene tabs were so high—$2.86/gal, up from $2.46 in January—but spot benzene is down around $2.65. Coupled with a mild winter, the market decided that feedstock prices had peaked. Styrene monomer production, heavy in January, softened in February. Ethylene monomer is expected to drop 4¢/lb.

 

Nylon, ABS, SAN, epoxy up

Nylon price increases were posted by at least two suppliers. BASF hiked nylon 6 extrusion resins by 5% as of Feb. 1, and DSM said it would raise prices of nylon 6 extrusion grades by 6¢/lb in February as well.

BASF also raised prices of ABS and SAN by 4¢/lb on March 1.

Dow Chemical added 10¢/lb to cycloaliphatic epoxy prices on March 1. 

 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-Feb A
 
 RESIN GRADEb¢/LB¢/CU INc 

 ABS 

  

  
 
 MED IMPACT   80 - 90     3.0 - 3.4    
 HI IMPACT   85 - 125     3.2 - 4.7    
 X-HI IMPACT   95 - 140     3.6 - 5.3    
 HI HEAT   85 - 110     3.8    
 PIPE   85 - 110     3.2 - 4.1    
 SHEET   90 - 110     3.4 - 4.2    
 TRANSPARENT   125 - 165     4.9 - 6.4    
 FITTINGS   85 - 115     3.2 - 4.3    
 PLATING   95 - 105     3.5 - 3.9    
 FLAME RET   120 - 140     4.6 - 5.9    
 STRUCT FM   83 - 97     3.6 - 4.3    
 10% GLASS   125 - 140     5.0 - 5.6    
 30% GLASS   116 - 136     5.3 - 6.3    
 ABS/PC ALLOY   145 - 180     5.5 - 6.8    
 ABS/PVC ALLOY   130 - 135     5.8 - 6.1    
 ABS/NYLON ALLOY   190     7.3    


 ACETAL 

  

  
 
 HOMOPOL   130 - 147     6.7 - 7.3    
 20% GLASS   160 - 220     9.0 - 12.4    
 COPOLYMER   133 - 145     6.8 - 7.4    
 25% GLASS   160 - 230     8.1 - 11.7    


 ACRYLIC 

  

  
 
 G-P   117     5.0    
 IMPACT   192     8.2    


 ACRYLONITRILE COPOL 

  

  
 
 EXTRUSION   101 - 116     4.0 - 4.6    
 INJECTION   120 - 135     4.8 - 5.4    


 ALKYD 

65 - 74   

4.9 - 5.5   
 


 CELLULOSICS 

  

  
 
 ACETATE   187     8.6    
 CAB   189     8.2    
 CAP   189     8.2    


 DAP (G-P) 

251 - 497   

16.7 - 34.7   
 


 EPOXY 

  

  
 
 G-P RESIN   116 - 126     NAd    
 COMPOUNDS          
 C/B/Te   123 - 166     9.4 - 12.9    
 R/C/Df   208 - 271     15.3 - 20.1    
 SEMICONDUCTOR          
 NOVOLAC   193 - 228     13.1 - 15.9    
 ANHYDRIDE   188 - 268     13.9 - 19.2    


 EVA 

  

  
 
 INJECTION   46 - 52     1.5 - 1.7    
 FILM EXTRU   42 - 49     1.4 - 1.6    


 EVOH 

265   

11.3   
 


 FLUORO-POLYMER 

  

  
 
 CTFE   2500 - 5500    193 - 424    
 ECTFE   1470 - 1680    93.1 - 107.7   
 ETFE   1155 - 1680    70.7 - 102.8   
 FEP   971 - 1470     74.8 - 113.2   
 PFA   1785 - 2520    134.9 - 190.5    
 PTFE   450 - 900     34.8 - 69.7    
 PVDF   680 - 900     43.3 - 57.3    


 IONOMER 

  

  
 
 PACKAGING   127 - 166     4.3 - 6.0    
 INDUSTRIAL   150 - 244     5.0 - 8.3    


 LIQUID-CRYSTAL POLYMERS 

  

  
 
 INJECTION MIN FILLED   690 - 1035     44.2 - 72.1    
 GLASS FILLED   695 - 895     40 - 52    
 CARBON FILLED   1700 - 2000    83.2 - 138.6   
 UNFILLED   1000 - 1200    58 - 70    
 EXTRUSION UNFILLED   1200 - 2200    60.5 - 110.9   


 MELAMINE COMPOUND 

90 - 94   

5.5 - 5.6   
 


 MELAMINE/PHENOLIC COMPOUND 

75 - 83   

4.5 - 5.0   
 


 NYLON 

  

  
 
 TYPE 6   139 - 159     5.7 - 6.5    
 MIN FILLED   131 - 144     5.4 - 5.9    
 30% GLASS   148 - 173     6.0 - 7.0    
 TYPE 66   153 - 168     6.3 - 6.9    
 MIN FILLED   151 - 159     6.2 - 6.5    
 30% GLASS   142 - 192     5.8 - 7.9    
 TYPE 69   250 - 276     9.7 - 10.7    
 TYPE 6/10   286 - 313     12.4 - 13.6    
 TYPE 612   400     15.3    
 30% GLASS   309 - 311     14.7    
 40% GLASS   309     14.7    
 TYPE 46   295     12.6    
 TYPE 11   329 - 341     13.6 - 14.1    
 30% GLASS   331 - 350     15.0 - 15.8    
 40% GLASS   347 - 360     17.7 - 18.5    
 TYPE 12   318 - 341     12.1 - 13.0    
 30% GLASS   327 - 350     14.7 - 15.8    
 50% GLASS   299 - 340     15.6 - 17.8    
 TRANSPARENT AMORPHOUS   247 - 360     10.3 - 15.0    


 PHENOLIC MOLD COMP 

75   

3.8   
 
 REINFORCED GRADES   105 - 268     6.1 - 16    


 POLYAMIDE-IMIDEg 

  

  
 
 UNFILLED   2750     148.5    
 30% GLASS   2500     135    
 30% CARBON FIB.   3500     185    


 POLYARYLATE 

200 - 280   

8.8 - 12.3   
 


 POLYARYL SULFONE 

440   

21.8   
 


 POLYBUTYLENE 

  

  
 
 G-P   94 - 96     3.1    
 FILM   88 - 91     2.9    
 PIPE          
 COLD WATER   116 - 120     3.9 - 4.0    
 HOT WATER   162 - 166     5.5 - 5.6    


 POLYCARBONATE 

  

  
 
 INJECTION   138 - 165     5.9 - 7.0    
 20% GLASS   177 - 190     7.6 - 8.2    
 30% GLASS   178 - 217     7.6 - 9.3    
 EXTRUSION   145 - 180     6.3 - 7.8    
 BLOW MOLD   155 - 190     6.7 - 8.2    
 STRUCT FOAM   149 - 181     6.4 - 7.8    
 20% GLASS   235 - 255     10.1 - 11.0    
 FR   166 - 197     7.1 - 8.5    
 CD   140 - 200     6.0 - 8.6    


 POLYESTER (TP) PBT TYPE 

  

  
 
 UNFILLED   143 - 150     6.9    
 HI-IMP   154 - 165     7.6    
 30% GLASS, FR   185 - 207     11.9    
 STRUCT FOAM   159 - 165     NAd    


 PET 

  

  
 
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR)   84 - 87     4.3 - 4.4    
 MOD PET          
 30% GLASS   132 - 143     7.4    
 55% GLASS   148 - 155     9.8    
 30% GLASS FLAME RET   147 - 157     9.2    
 PETG COPOL   114 - 124     5.2 - 5.6    
 RESIN GRADEb¢/LB¢/CU INc 


 POLYESTER THERMOSET 

  

  
 
 G-P ORTHO   135 - 140     NAd    
 ISOPHTHALIC   160 - 170     NAd    
 BIS-A   205 - 210     NAd    


 PEEK 

4400   

231   
 
 30% GLASS   3300     173    


 POLYETHERIMIDE 

641 - 646   

29.3 - 29.5   
 
 30% GLASS   526 - 531     24.0 - 24.2    


 POLYETHERKETONE (PEK) 

2950   

130.1   
 
 30% GLASS   2600     153    


 POLYETHERSULFONE 

350 - 400   

17.2 - 19.7   
 
 30% GLASS   425 - 525     21 - 25.9    


 POLYETHYLENE (RAILCAR) LDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING & EXTRU   86 - 88     2.8 - 2.9    
 INJECTION   89 - 91     2.9 - 3.0    
 LID RESIN   91 - 93     3.0 - 3.1    
 LINER   87 - 89     2.9    
 CLARITY   85 - 87     2.8 - 2.9    
 EXTRU COATG   89 - 91     2.9 - 3.0    
 BLOW MOLD   91 - 93     3.0 - 3.1    


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   75 - 77     2.5 - 2.6    
 LME 30-DAYj   58.5 Prices Went Up  
  2.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   77 - 79     2.6    
 ROTOMOLD   79 - 81     2.6 - 2.7    


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   89 - 91     2.9 - 3.0    
 LID RESIN   90 - 92     3.0    
 LINER FILM   92 - 94     3.0 - 3.1    


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   76 - 78     2.6 - 2.7    
 FILM   86 - 88     2.9 - 3.0    
 BLOW MOLD   80 - 82     2.7 - 2.8    

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   85 - 87     2.9 - 3.0    
 FILM   87 - 89     3.0    
 PIPE   92 - 94     3.0 - 3.1    


 UHMW-PE 

100 - 125   

3.6 - 3.7   
 


 PPE/PPO BASED RESIN 

  

  
 
 INJECTION   180     6.8    
 20% GLASSh   283     12.3    
 30% GLASSh   291     13.3    
 EXTRUSIONh   242     9.2    
 STRUCT FM   231     NAd    


 PPS 

  

  
 
 40% GLASS   357 - 404     21.2 - 24.0    
 55% GLASS/MINERAL   289 - 310     20.8 - 22.3    
 65% GLASS/MINERAL   226 - 273     15.5 - 18.7    


 POLYPROPYLENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL INJECTION   77 - 79     2.5 - 2.6    
 LME 30-DAYj   54.9 Prices Went Up  
  1.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   76 - 78     2.5    
 PROFILES   81 - 83     2.6 - 2.7    
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   82 - 84     2.7    
 FILM   83 - 85     2.7 - 2.8    
 INJECTION   80 - 82     2.6 - 2.7    
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   91 - 94     2.9 - 3.0    
 HI IMP   94 - 98     3.0 - 3.2    


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL   70 - 78     2.6 - 2.9    
 HI HEAT   73 - 81     2.7 - 3.0    
 HIPS   71 - 79     2.7 - 3.0    
 SUPER HI IMP   81 - 87     3.0 - 3.3    
 FR   89 - 97     3.3 - 3.6    
 STRUCT FM (FR)   105 - 108        


 EPS 

  

  
 
 UNMODIFIED   85 - 88     NAd    
 MODIFIED   86 - 90     NAd    


 POLYSULFONE 

605   

27 - 27.3   
 
 10% GLASS 430 20.6   557 - 612     24.9 - 25    
 30% GLASS 372 20.01   557 - 562     24.9 - 25    


 POLYURETHANE (TP) 

  

  
 
 ESTER TYPE   185 - 255     8 - 11    
 ETHER TYPE   245 - 295     10.6 - 13    


 PU ISOCYANATES 

  

  
 
 POLYMERIC MDI   120 - 135     NAd    
 80/20 TDI   90 - 98     NAd    


 PVC RESIN (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL   57 - 59 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 PIPE   54 - 56 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 FILM   66 - 68 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING   73 - 75 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 DISPERSION HOMOPOLY   84 - 90     NAd    
 COPOLYMER   89 - 93     NAd    
 CPVC PIPE COMPOUND   119     NAd    


 PVDC 

  

  
 
 EXTRUDABLE   162     NAd    


 SILICONES 

  

  
 
 MOLD. COMP.   581 - 640     38.1 - 39.3    
 SPECIALTY GR.   891 - 3148    NAd    
 SILICONE/EPOXY   339 - 343     22.5 - 22.8    


 STYRENEACRYLIC 

108 - 112   

3.7 - 4.0   
 


 SAN (G-P) 

66 - 74   

2.5 - 2.8   
 


 STYRENE MALEIC ANHYDRIDE 

  

  
 
 G-P   110 - 115     4.2 - 4.3    
 HI IMP   130 - 140     4.2 - 4.5    
 FR   175 - 183     6.7 - 7.0    


 TP ELASTOMERS 

  

  
 
 OLEFINIC   70 - 76     2.4    
 POLYAMIDE   287 - 337     10.4 - 12.3    
 POLYESTER   200 - 310     8.8 - 13.6    
 STYRENIC   82 - 237     2.9 - 8.3    


 UREA MOLDING COMPOUND 

  

  
 
 BLACK & BROWN   76     3.8    
 WHITE & IVORY   81     4.0    


 VINYL ESTER 

  

  
 
 COR RES   195 - 207     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   220     NAd    

KEY: Colored areas indicate pricing activity. An arrow () indicates direction of price change. aTruckload, unless otherwise specified. bUnfilled, natural color, unless otherwise specified. cBased on typical or average density. dNot applicable. eNovolac and anhydride grades for coils, bushings, transformers. fNovolac and anhydride grades for resisitors, capacitors, diodes. gIn quantities of 20,000 lb. h19,800-lb load. jLME 30-day futures contract for lots of 54,564 lb..