Polyolefin prices rose a bit last month as suppliers implemented summer price increases to make up for higher energy and feedstock prices.

Polyolefin prices rose a bit last month as suppliers implemented summer price increases to make up for higher energy and feedstock prices. Resin capacity utilization remained high (over 90%) and suppliers expected a seasonal uptick in demand in the fourth quarter. They also said polyolefin exports to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have revived after a pause of three to four years, thanks to a doubling of the price advantage of natural gas—the main feedstock of the U.S. industry—over oil, which feeds overseas production.

After oil prices dropped as much as $11/barrel by the second week of September, that scenario may be changing. Says Lowell Huovinen, managing partner at resin purchasing consultant Resin Technology Inc. (RTI), Fort Worth, Texas, “North American exports are slowing as oil prices have gone down. We don’t think domestic demand is as good as usual for this time of year, and producers’ inventories are increasing, as are those of processors. We expect to see downward pressure on resin prices for the rest of the year.”

A similarly mixed picture was evident for PS and PVC. Prices were up slightly last month, but prospects for further increases were in doubt.

 

PE prices up

Polyethylene prices rose about 5¢/lb in August as a result of partial implementation of the 7¢ increase announced for July. Suppliers moved to lift the remaining 2¢ TVA as of Sept. 15 or Oct. 1. A 5¢/lb increase for Aug. 1 was still pending. But the London Metal Exchange (LME) October short-term futures contract for butene LLDPE for blown film was down slightly to 59.9¢/lb from September’s 60.3¢/lb.

Contributing factors: Ethylene monomer contracts for August rose 2¢/lb, much less than the 7¢ to 8¢/lb originally sought. Suppliers say resin inventory levels are balanced to a bit tight. They say markets for PE exports are better than they have been in years. “We see strong demand for PE globally,” says one major supplier. Demand is weaker in some areas like stretch film and industrial liners but is strong in consumer packaging and pipe.

 

Polypropylene goes up, too

PP resin tabs moved up as suppliers got part of their August 4¢ increase. Average prices moved up 3¢/lb, letting suppliers recoup more than the 1.5¢ to 2¢/lb lost in July. A 4¢/lb hike was pending for Sept. 1. Still, LME’s October short-term futures contract for g-p injection homopolymer slid to 57.8¢/lb from September’s 60.5¢.

Contributing factors: Resin prices appear to be driven by escalating monomer prices. Rising August monomer contracts erased the 4¢ drop in July, and September contracts looked likely to go 2¢ higher. Nonetheless, RTI’s Huovinen expects PP suppliers to have a hard time implementing even part of the September hike.

 

PET prices still high

PET prices are 10¢/lb higher than in June. Suppliers implemented a 4¢ increase in May and got about 6¢ of their 8¢ July increase by the end of August.

Contributing factors: PET suppliers complain of poor profit margins and have yet to feel the impact of 1.1 billion lb of new capacity coming on by early 2007. Still-rising feedstock prices have pushed up resin tabs despite that looming oversupply.

 

PVC up 2¢ in August

PVC resin prices rose 2¢/lb in August, implementing a hike that had been pending since May. Another 2¢ increase announced for Sept. 1 isn’t expected to stick. PVC compounders announced increases of 3¢ to 4¢ for September and October.

Contributing factors: Pipe and compound demand softened in September. Housing starts dropped from 2.1 million units/yr to 1.8 million between the first and third quarters, but that’s still a strong market.

 

Polystyrene hike delayed

PS producers pushed through the 4¢ July increase last month. But they put a 5¢ hike for Sept. 1 on hold.

Contributing factors: Resin demand picked up in August on the threat of a possible hurricane. Despite record PS prices, producers have lost money this year because of soaring benzene prices. But benzene contract prices dropped in September to $3.55/gal from $3.72 in August.

 

More hikes for MDI, TDI

Dow and Huntsman increased MDI prices on Sept. 1—Dow by 10¢/lb and Huntsman by 5¢. (BASF hiked MDI 10¢ on Aug. 1.) Dow also said it would raise TDI tabs 15¢/lb on Oct. 1. 

 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-Sept 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 Prices Went Up  
  4.4 - 4.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 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   92 - 94 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 - 3.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   94 - 96 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 LID RESIN   96 - 98 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 LINER   90 - 92 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 CLARITY   88 - 90 Prices Went Up  
  2.9 - 3.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 EXTRU COATG   93 - 95 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 BLOW MOLD   96 - 98 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 Prices Went Up  
 


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   79 - 81 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   81 - 83 Prices Went Down 
  2.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   59.9 Prices Went Up  
  2.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 ROTOMOLD   83 - 85 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   84 - 86 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 LID RESIN   94 - 96 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 LINER FILM   87 - 89 Prices Went Up  
  2.9 Prices Went Up  
 


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   81 - 83 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   88 - 90 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 BLOW MOLD   84 - 86 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   88 - 90 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 - 3.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   90 - 92 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 PIPE   95 - 97 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 - 3.3 Prices Went Up  
 


 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   80 - 82 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   57.8 Prices Went Down 
  1.9 Prices Went Down 
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 PROFILES   84 - 86 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   86 - 88 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   85 - 87 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   82 - 84 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   93 - 95 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 - 3.1 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI IMP   96 - 98 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 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 PIPE   52 - 54 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 FILM   63 - 66 Prices Went Up  
  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   206 - 220     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   233     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..