After a brief surge upward, prices of polyolefins and PVC have softened again.

After a brief surge upward, prices of polyolefins and PVC have softened again. Falling monomer prices is one reason, as are processors’ year-end inventory reductions. PS is a different story, however, because benzene feedstock prices are soaring—but perhaps not for long. Meanwhile, price increases are hitting other thermoplastics and some thermosets.

 

PE prices down

Polyethylene prices were on the way down by October, following suppliers’ implementation of a 5¢/lb increase in August. As a result, processors recouped 2¢ of that hike in September and the rest by mid-October. Sources at resin purchasing consultant Resin Technology Inc. (RTI), Fort Worth, Texas, noted that further price declines were very probable before the end of October. Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange (LME) November short-term futures contract for butene LLDPE for blown film was 52.8¢/lb, down from October’s 59.9¢.

Contributing factors: PE demand has remained steady but not strong enough to sustain the recent price hike. Suppliers’ inventories were rising in October. RTI sources said processors are looking to cut their own inventories by year’s end as “holiday production” slows down. One major PE supplier says demand for consumer packaging continues to be good though there has been a slowdown in industrial packaging such as liners and shrink wrap, making for a very competitive market.

Ethylene monomer prices were expected to move downward as the supply tightness of the summer months—due to planned and unplanned outages totaling 18% of domestic capacity—was starting to abate. September monomer contract prices were unchanged from August at 51.5¢/lb. And by October, spot prices dropped to 37¢/lb, and some industry sources expected that lower contract prices would follow.

 

PP prices up a bit

Polypropylene prices moved up in September by an average of 1.7¢/lb as resin suppliers pushed to implement a 4¢ hike pending since Sept. 1. But there were indications of some price softening by mid-October. And the LME’s November short-term futures contract for g-p injection homopolymer slid to 52.8¢/lb (identical to PE) from October’s 57.8¢.

Contributing factors: Propylene monomer contract prices, which rose 4¢/lb in August and 2¢ in September, then turned south. October contract prices looked set to drop 3.5¢ to 5¢/lb. PP resin demand was down a bit in August and September, though resin suppliers indicated some recovery in October. RTI sources indicate that PP processors have been buying cautiously and aim to reduce their inventories by year’s end.

 

PVC prices may erode

Resin producers and buyers expected PVC prices to lose 2¢ in October and 4¢ to 6¢ by the end of the year.

Contributing factors: Demand turned suddenly soft in October as prices of natural gas and ethylene retreated and pipe producers worked off inventories. Demand for small-diameter pipe for water and electrical conduit plummeted on expectations of fewer housing starts. Demand for larger water and sewer pipe is a bit less weak. Windows are holding their own.

 

PS prices volatile

Polystyrene producers were trying for 3¢/lb increases in October, part of a 5¢ hike delayed from Sept. 1, but they were meeting strong resistance from processors, who want PS prices to come down in line with oil prices. Meanwhile, EPS producers announced a 4¢/lb increase for Nov. 1.

Contributing factors: PS demand in September and early October was weak. Dow is shutting two PS trains in Sarnia, Ont., this month and next, taking 300 million lb/yr of capacity out of the market. The unsettling factor is benzene feedstock for styrene monomer. Contract benzene hit $4/gal for October, an all-time high, up from $3.55/gal in September. Cheaper benzene on its way from Asia could bring some relief this month.

 

Other price hikes

BASF, DuPont, and Ticona lifted tabs on various engineering resins between Oct. 15 and Nov. 1: Standard nylons rose 10¢ to 12¢/lb, specialty nylons 12¢ to 15¢/lb. BASF hiked acetals 10¢, DuPont 12¢, and Ticona only 7¢/lb. PBT and PET compounds went up 10¢ for BASF, 12¢ for Ticona, and 15¢ for DuPont. Polyester TPEs went up 12¢ to 15¢. And LCPs rose 15¢ for DuPont and 25¢ for Ticona.

Oct. 15 was also the date for a 15¢ increase on Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from Topas Advanced Polymers.
And Reichhold raised prices on unsaturated polyesters and vinyl esters by 5¢/lb on Nov. 6. 

 

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

 ABS 

  

  
 
 MED IMPACT   84 - 90     3.1 - 3.4    
 HI IMPACT   89 - 125     3.3 - 4.7    
 X-HI IMPACT   99 - 140     3.7 - 5.3    
 HI HEAT   89 - 110     3.3 - 3.8    
 PIPE   89 - 110     3.3 - 4.1    
 SHEET   94 - 110     3.5 - 4.2    
 TRANSPARENT   129 - 165     5.1 - 6.4    
 FITTINGS   89 - 115     3.3 - 4.3    
 PLATING   99 - 105     3.7 - 3.9    
 FLAME RET   124 - 140     4.6 - 5.9    
 STRUCT FM   87 - 97     3.2 - 4.3    
 10% GLASS   129 - 140     4.8 - 5.6    
 30% GLASS   124 - 136     4.6 - 6.3    
 ABS/PC ALLOY   149 - 180     5.5 - 6.8    
 ABS/PVC ALLOY   134 - 139     5.0 - 5.2    
 ABS/NYLON ALLOY   194     7.3    


 ACETAL 

  

  
 
 HOMOPOL   148 - 165     7.5 - 8.4    
 20% GLASS   168 - 228     8.5 - 11.5    
 COPOLYMER   141 - 153     7.1 - 7.7    
 25% GLASS   168 - 240     8.5 - 12    


 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   5000 - 6000    385 - 462    
 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)   88 - 89     4.4 - 4.5    
 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   140 - 145     NAd    
 ISOPHTHALIC   165 - 175     NAd    
 BIS-A   210 - 215     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   87 - 89 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 Prices Went Down 
 
 INJECTION   89 - 91 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 - 3.0 Prices Went Down 
 
 LID RESIN   91 - 93 Prices Went Down 
  3.0 - 3.1 Prices Went Down 
 
 LINER   85 - 90 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 - 2.9 Prices Went Down 
 
 CLARITY   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 EXTRU COATG   88 - 90 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 - 3.0 Prices Went Down 
 
 BLOW MOLD   91 - 93 Prices Went Down 
  3.1 Prices Went Down 
 


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   74 - 76 Prices Went Down 
  2.5 Prices Went Down 
 
 LME 30-DAYj   76 - 78 Prices Went Down 
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   52.8 Prices Went Down 
  1.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 ROTOMOLD   78 - 80 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 Prices Went Down 
 


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   79 - 81 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 LID RESIN   89 - 91 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 - 3.0 Prices Went Down 
 
 LINER FILM   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   76 - 78 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 BLOW MOLD   79 - 81 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 Prices Went Down 
 

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   83 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  2.8 - 2.9 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   85 - 87 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 Prices Went Down 
 
 PIPE   90 - 92 Prices Went Down 
  3.1 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   82 - 84 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   52.8 Prices Went Down 
  1.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   80 - 82 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 PROFILES   86 - 88 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   87 - 89 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 - 2.9 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   87 - 89 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 - 2.9 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   84 - 86 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   94 - 96 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 - 3.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI IMP   97 - 99 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.2 Prices Went Up  
 


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL   79 - 85 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 - 3.3 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI HEAT   82 - 88 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.3 Prices Went Up  
 
 HIPS   80 - 85 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 - 3.3 Prices Went Up  
 
 SUPER HI IMP   90 - 94 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 - 3.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 FR   98 - 106 Prices Went Up  
  3.7 - 4.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 STRUCT FM (FR)   105 - 108     NA    


 EPS 

  

  
 
 UNMODIFIED   85 - 88     NAd    
 MODIFIED   86 - 90     NAd    


 POLYSULFONE 

569   

25   
 
 10% GLASS 430 20.6   669     32    
 30% GLASS 372 20.01   609     20    


 POLYURETHANE (TP) 

  

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


 PU ISOCYANATES 

  

  
 
 POLYMERIC MDI   118 - 135     NAd    
 80/20 TDI   145 - 155     NAd    


 PVC RESIN (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL   55 - 57     NAd    
 PIPE   52 - 54     NAd    
 FILM   63 - 66     NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING   71 - 73     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   300 - 350     10.9 - 12.7    
 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   213 - 225     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   238     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..