Although the worst may be over in soaring oil and natural-gas prices, recent hikes are still percolating through the petrochemical derivatives supply chain. So there’s no slowdown in commodity-resin price hikes, and engineering resins are going up too—some of them for the first time in more than two years.

PE gets another hike

By the end of March, polyethylene prices had moved up 11¢/lb since the start of the year. The last steps in that process were the implementation of a 5¢/lb increase and a 6¢ energy surcharge. That surcharge was due to be lifted on April 1, but suppliers replaced it with a 6¢/lb increase on March 15. Another increase of 5¢/lb was also planned for April 15.

Meanwhile, DuPont announced in early March that it would raise prices of several ethylene copolymers and LDPEs, effective immediately or as contracts allow. A 6¢/lb hike was posted on Bynel, Appeel, Elvax, and Selar copolymers and LDPE. A temporary increase of 10¢/lb was applied to Surlyn, Conpol, Transcend, Fusabond, and DuPont 20 Series resins. Nucrel acid copolymers got a temporary 6¢ hike.

Contributing factors: Suppliers used the energy surcharge as an attempt to catch up with soaring feedstock costs. They also limited buyers with 60-day price protection to only 30 days. From now on, suppliers apparently want to issue 30-day notice of price hikes and eliminate price protection altogether.
PE resin supply has grown tighter, particularly for LLDPE film grades, for which inventory levels are down to 30 days. Inventories for LDPE and HDPE are reportedly over 45 days.

 

PP prices strong

Polypropylene prices remain firm, following the implementation of a total of 6¢ to 8¢/lb in the first quarter. An additional 5¢/lb price hike nominally was effective April 1. In addition, Solvay Engineered Polymers announced May 1 increases on TPOs of 4¢/lb in truckloads and 7¢ for ltl shipments.

Contributing factors: Higher propylene monomer costs, tight resin supply, and good demand could serve to bolster suppliers’ effort to raise PP resin tabs further. Basell, for example, sent out a letter in late March advising its customers that as of April 1, total increases of 13¢/lb since January would be fully implemented.

Suppliers’ margins remain tight as propylene monomer prices move up and PP resin hikes take longer to implement due to price protection. Polymer-grade propylene was up 8¢/lb from January through March to a contract-price level of 27.5¢/lb, while spot prices were at 30¢ to 31.5¢/lb. Monomer increases of 2¢ to 3¢/lb have been proposed for April.

Meanwhile, PP resin supply has tightened and is expected to remain snug for the next two years, despite the start-up in March of the 775-million-lb/yr ConocoPhillips plant in Linden, N.J.

 

PVC going up again

PVC producers have supported 2¢ monthly increases in January, February, March, and April. At press time in mid-April, Formosa had announced the same for May 1. (Formosa also hiked dispersion resins 3¢/lb in March.)
Producers of PVC compounds haven’t been able to raise prices as far or as fast. Compounders tried a 3¢/lb increase for Feb. 15, but PolyOne delayed its increase to April 1, forcing most others to do likewise. PolyOne has since called for a 5¢/lb hike on May 1.

Contributing factors: VCM supplies tightened as monomer suppliers slashed production during the sudden energy-cost spike of late February and early March. Chor-alkali producers are also trying to raise the price of chlorine, which makes up 60% of the weight of PVC. Anticipating further monomer hikes, resin producers are trying to get whatever increases they can during the spring construction season when demand is usually highest. This year, however, PVC demand is spotty and siding sales appear to be slower than in 2002.

 

Mayhem in PS prices

After starting the year with two 3¢ hikes in January and February, followed by two 4¢ increases in March and April, three of the largest polystyrene producers created havoc for their larger customers by adding a sudden 4¢ increase for March 1 without any price protection. It comes on top of the previously announced 4¢ increase that did carry price protection. BASF and Dow called their surprise hikes an “energy and raw-material surcharge.” While Nova and BASF imposed these surcharges on March 1, Dow gave its customers until March 10. The 4¢ surcharges remained in place for April. One of the three suppliers believes the surcharge will come off in May.

Customers got a bit softer treatment from two PS producers that are integrated with oil companies. Chevron imposed only a 2¢ TVA on top of the previously announced 4¢ hike. Fina added another 4¢ to its announced 4¢ for March 1 but retained price protection.

Contributing factors: The brief oil-price spike and continued high benzene prices drove suppliers to impose the 4¢ surcharge. Because market demand is strong during the spring high season, PS buyers must swallow their distress about having their contracts pushed aside.

 

Engineering resins go up

DuPont and Rhodia joined BASF in nylon price hikes. DuPont’s increase of 10% became effective April 15. Rhodia sources say they’ll raise prices 7¢/lb this spring.

DuPont followed the lead of BASF and Ticona by raising acetal tabs 10% April 15.

In addition, DuPont added 10% to prices of Rynite PET and Crastin PBT on April 15. BASF, Ticona, and GE had already hiked PBTs, generally by 9¢/lb.
Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) from BASF and Noveon also went up 5¢ on April 15. Bayer will boost prices of its TPUs and TPU alloys by an undisclosed amount on May 1. TPU prices have not generally increased since the fall of 2000. Dow has not yet issued a price increase on TPUs, and Huntsman could not be reached for comment.

Eastman hiked its specialty polyesters and copolyesters by another 7¢/lb on May 1. Eastman last raised prices on its Dura Star, Provista, Eastar, Ecdel, Eastalloy, Spectar, Eastapak, and Eastman products on March 1.

In addition, Eastman raised tabs of Tenite cellulose acetate by 7¢/lb on May 1.

 

 

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

 ABS 

  

  
 
 MED IMPACT  62 - 82    2.4 - 3.1    
 HI IMPACT  72 - 85    2.7 - 3.2    
 X-HI IMPACT  82 - 105    3.1 - 3.9    
 HI HEAT  85 - 95    3.2 - 3.6    
 PIPE  58 - 62    2.2 - 2.3    
 SHEET  75 - 90    3.0 - 3.7    
 TRANSPARENT  125 - 165    4.9 - 6.4    
 FITTINGS  65 - 78    2.4 - 2.9    
 PLATING  95 - 105    3.5 - 3.9    
 FLAME RET  105 - 135    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  135 - 165    5.6 - 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 - 137    6.8 - 7.0    
 25% GLASS  160 - 215    9.2 - 12.3    


 ACRYLIC 

  

  
 
 G-P  72 - 102    3.0 - 4.3    
 IMPACT  130 - 191    5.4 - 7.9    


 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  184    7.9    
 CAP  184    7.9    


 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  4500    346.6    
 ECTFE  1400 - 1600    108.3 - 123.8  
 ETFE  1100 - 1600    73.6 - 107.1   
 FEP  925 - 1400    71.3 - 107.9   
 PFA  1700 - 2400    131.6 - 185.8  
 PTFE  450 - 900    34.8 - 69.7    
 PVDF  650 - 800    41.4 - 50.9    


 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  124 - 139    6.2 - 7.0    
 MIN FILLED  119 - 132    5.9 - 6.6    
 30% GLASS  150 - 160    7.2 - 7.7    
 TYPE 66  140 - 155    7.4 - 8.2    
 MIN FILLED  140 - 148    7.4 - 7.8    
 30% GLASS  180 - 190    8.8 - 9.3    
 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 

55.5 - 87.5   

2.8 - 4.0   
 
 REINFORCED GRADES  100.5 - 267.5   6.0 - 15.9    


 POLYAMIDE-IMIDEg 

  

  
 
 UNFILLED  2310 - 3045    124.7 - 164.4  
 30% GLASS  2250 - 2985    130.4 - 173.0  
 30% CARBON FIB.  3260 - 3950    173.6 - 210.5  


 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  127 - 145    5.4 - 6.2    
 BLOW MOLD  140 - 170    6.0 - 7.3    
 STRUCT FOAM  149 - 181    6.4 - 7.8    
 20% GLASS  235 - 255    10.1 - 11.0    
 FR  166 - 197    7.1 - 8.5    
 CD  82 - 100    3.5 - 4.3    


 POLYESTER (TP) PBT TYPE 

  

  
 
 UNFILLED  143 - 150    6.9    
 HI-IMP  154 - 165    7.6    
 30% GLASS, FR  165 - 187    10.0    
 STRUCT FOAM  159 - 165    NAd    


 PET 

  

  
 
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR)  63 - 67    3.2 - 3.4    
 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  53 - 57    NAd    
 ISOPHTHALIC  70 - 80    NAd    
 BIS-A  120 - 150    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  63 - 66    2.1 - 2.2    
 INJECTION  63 - 66    2.1 - 2.2    
 LID RESIN  64 - 67    2.1 - 2.2    
 LINER  62 - 65    2.1    
 CLARITY  60 - 62    2.0    
 EXTRU COATG  63 - 65    2.1    
 BLOW MOLD  64 - 67    2.1 - 2.2    


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING  49 - 51    1.6 - 1.7    
 FILM  51 - 53    1.7 - 1.8    
 ROTOMOLD  53 - 55    1.8    


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING  55 - 57    1.9    
 LID RESIN  61 - 64    2.0 - 2.1    
 LINER FILM  56 - 58    1.9    


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD  50 - 52    1.7 - 1.8    
 FILM  59 - 61    2.0 - 2.1    
 BLOW MOLD  53 - 55    1.8 - 1.9    

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING  60 - 62    2.1    
 FILM  63 - 65    2.2    
 PIPE  67 - 69    2.3 - 2.4    


 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  340 - 385    20 - 23    
 55% GLASS/MINERAL  275 - 295    18    
 65% GLASS/MINERAL  205 - 260    15 - 19    


 POLYPROPYLENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL INJECTION  45 - 47    1.5 - 1.6    
 EXTRUSION FIBER  44 - 46    1.4 - 1.5    
 PROFILES  46 - 49    1.5 - 1.6    
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING  50 - 52    1.6 - 1.7    
 FILM  48 - 52    1.6 - 1.7    
 INJECTION  47 - 49    1.6    
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP  60 - 63    1.9    
 HI IMP  63 - 66    1.9 - 2.0    


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL  50 - 57 Prices Went Up  
 18. - 2.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI HEAT  49 - 56 Prices Went Up  
 1.8 - 2.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 HIPS  52 - 58 Prices Went Up  
 1.9 - 2.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 SUPER HI IMP  62 - 68 Prices Went Up  
 2.3 Prices Went Up  
 
 FR  87 - 98 Prices Went Up  
 3.2 - 3.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 STRUCT FM (FR)  91 - 93    na    


 EPS 

  

  
 
 UNMODIFIED  80 - 82 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    
 MODIFIED  82 - 85 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    


 POLYSULFONE 

430 - 510   

19 - 22.8   
 
 10% GLASS 430 20.6  605 - 610    27 - 27.2    
 30% GLASS 372 20.01  555 - 560    24.8 - 25    


 POLYURETHANE (TP) 

  

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


 PU ISOCYANATES 

  

  
 
 POLYMERIC MDI  105 - 115    NAd    
 80/20 TDI  110 - 120    NAd    


 PVC RESIN (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL  36 - 39 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    
 PIPE  34 - 37 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    
 FILM  46 - 48 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING  46 - 48 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    
 DISPERSION HOMOPOLY  59 - 63 Prices Went Up  
 NAd    
 COPOLYMER  63 - 67 Prices Went Up  
 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  67 - 78    3.6 - 4.1    
 WHITE & IVORY  72    3.8    


 VINYL ESTER 

  

  
 
 COR RES  147    NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES  161    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.