Demand for most commodity resins was generally lackluster in the first quarter and the beginning of the second.

Demand for most commodity resins was generally lackluster in the first quarter and the beginning of the second. Both resin and monomer prices were generally soft. Nonetheless, polyethylene suppliers announced price increases in hopes of halting further erosion. Suppliers also are watching closely to see if processors start stocking up on resin as the hurricane season approaches.

 

PE prices down

Polyethylene prices dropped further in April, so the total slippage since December reached 18¢/lb. The drop last month was 2¢ as compared with 4¢ declines in each of the previous three months, perhaps signaling that prices are hitting bottom. Resin suppliers are attempting to show as much with a new price hike of 6¢/lb issued by most of the major players for May 1. Chevron Phillips and Formosa asked for only 3¢/lb.

There’s also upward price movement at the London Metal Exchange (LME), where May’s short-term futures contract in g-p butene-LLDPE for blown-film was 53.8¢/lb, up from April’s 51¢/lb.

Contributing factors: Some resin suppliers see low resin inventories at processors as a factor in their favor. They expect to implement their new prices, at least partially, either this month or in June.

Ethylene monomer contract prices dropped 3.5¢/lb in February and 2.5¢ in March. According to resin-purchasing consultant Resin Technology Inc. (RTI) in Fort Worth, Texas, monomer buyers are looking to shave off another 1¢ to 3¢ to close the unusually big gap between contract and spot prices. March contract prices stood at 47.5¢/lb and spot prices were in the low 30¢/lb range.

 

PP prices flat

Polypropylene prices were stable in early April, after moving up 4¢ to 6¢/lb in the previous two months. There was industry chatter that a new price increase would be announced for May or June. However, the LME’s May short-term futures contract for g-p injection-grade PP homopolymer is 50.1¢/lb, down from April’s 51¢/lb.

Contributing factors: Attractive resin deals were available into early April, and RTI sources said some processors were already “getting back” 4¢/lb of those earlier price hikes. Still, suppliers expect some uptick in demand in the second quarter, and perhaps a bit more. Says one major supplier, “There is lots of talk about hurricane stockpiling.”

Propylene monomer prices moved up a total of 6¢/lb from January to March, and April contracts seemed likely to rise another penny or two.

 

PVC falls 2¢

As expected, PVC resin prices lost 2¢/lb in March, while resin producers delayed their pending 2¢ increase yet again, this time to May 1. It was originally announced for January 1.

Contributing factors: PVC demand was still weak in mid-April, with no sign of the usual spring build-up. Falling ethylene monomer prices are also putting downward pressure on PVC.

 

PS continues to weaken

Polystyrene prices, already down about 6¢ from November through March, were expected to lose another 1¢ to 2¢/lb in April. Styrene monomer was flat in mid-April, but spot monomer fell as low as 45¢/lb, which was below cost.

Contributing factors: Polystyrene is still in oversupply, and demand is weak for this time of year, which is usually fairly strong. March demand was perhaps 10% below normal for what is usually a strong month. High resin prices have hurt PS in cup, lid and cutlery markets, which have shifted to paper, PET, and PP respectively. In durable goods, however, PS is still strong for the time of year, resin producers say.

 

Composite resins rise

Owing to continuing petrochemical supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina, isopthalic acid feedstock for unsaturated polyesters has been more expensive and hard to get. That’s the reason cited by AOC, which hiked all its isophthalic-based resins and gel coats by 3¢/lb on May 1. 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-Apr 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)   82 - 87     4.1 - 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   82 - 84 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 INJECTION   85 - 87 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 LID RESIN   87 - 89 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 LINER   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 CLARITY   81 - 83 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 Prices Went Down 
 
 EXTRU COATG   85 - 87 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 BLOW MOLD   87 - 89 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 Prices Went Down 
 


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   71 - 73 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 Prices Went Down 
 
 LME 30-DAYj   73 - 75 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   53.8 Prices Went Up  
  2.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 ROTOMOLD   75 - 77 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Down 
 


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   74 - 76 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Down 
 
 LID RESIN   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 LINER FILM   78 - 80 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   72 - 74 Prices Went Down 
  2.5 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   82 - 84 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 BLOW MOLD   76 - 78 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   81 - 83 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 PIPE   88 - 90 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 Prices Went Down 
 


 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   76 - 78     2.5    
 LME 30-DAYj   50.1 Prices Went Up  
  1.9 Prices Went Up  
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   75 - 77     2.5 - 2.6    
 PROFILES   80 - 82     2.6 - 2.7    
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   81 - 83     2.6 - 2.7    
 FILM   80 - 82     2.6 - 2.7    
 INJECTION   78 - 80     2.6    
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   89 - 91     2.9    
 HI IMP   92 - 94     2.9 - 3.0    


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL   64 - 72 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 HI HEAT   67 - 75 Prices Went Down 
  2.5 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 HIPS   65 - 72 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 SUPER HI IMP   75 - 81 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 - 3.0 Prices Went Down 
 
 FR   83 - 91 Prices Went Down 
  3.1 - 3.4 Prices Went Down 
 
 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   53 - 55 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 PIPE   50 - 52 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 FILM   61 - 64 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING   71 - 73 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   205 - 217     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   230     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..