Polypropylene and polystyrene prices were moving upward in the last month, though polyethylene was relatively flat and PVC was still soft.

Polypropylene and polystyrene prices were moving upward in the last month, though polyethylene was relatively flat and PVC was still soft. Demand is said to be steady, but not stellar. “Generally, processors are buying as needed, and are likely to be able to do that through this month, particularly in the case of polyethylene. Although production is stable, there has been no strong order placement,” says Cindy Bryan, director of market research at resin purchasing consultant Resins Technology Inc. (RTI), Fort Worth, Texas.

There are also indications of resin inventory build-up—material that was slated for export to Asia, according to Bryan. While polyolefin suppliers lowered plant operating rates last fall to slow burgeoning inventory accumulations, this “orphaned” export material is likely to be redirected to the domestic market, probably at more attractive pricing.

 

PE prices stable for now

Polyethylene prices remained flat last month, and suppliers pushed back their 6¢ to 7¢/lb increases from January to this month. Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange (LME) short-term futures contract for February in g-p blown film butene LLDPE sold at 50.3¢/lb, down from January’s 52.2¢.

Contributing factors: Demand for PE remains steady, though undramatic, but there has been a downward push from ethylene monomer pricing. December monomer contracts dropped 3¢ to 41.5¢/lb. Although there are some January contract price nominations for increases of 2¢ to 3¢, spot ethylene prices have dropped to 32¢/lb, and even lower bids have been posted, according to RTI’s Bryan.

 

PP prices up

Polypropylene prices in January moved up 2¢ to 3¢/lb, a partial implementation of 5¢ hikes slated for January. At press time, Basell issued a price hike of 5¢/lb for Feb. 1, and two other suppliers were rumored to be doing the same. LME’s February futures contract for g-p injection-grade homopolymer sold at 50.3¢/lb, down from January’s 53.4¢.

Contributing factors: Overall demand in most markets is said to be good, with the exception of fibers. Suppliers concede that the recent demand surge was partly due to an inventory correction, as processors had been working off inventories through the latter part of last year. Resin plant utilization rates were scaled back to around 85% in November, and are still below 90%. Supplier inventories are reportedly lower than before.

Propylene monomer prices are once again making themselves felt, as January contract nominations were up 2.25¢/lb to 42.75¢. Monomer supply has been tight and is likely to remain so for a couple of months, since at least one major refinery is down for maintenance this month.

 

PVC tabs slip again

PVC resin prices were weaker in December than anticipated, dropping 2.5¢ to 3¢ instead of the expected 2¢. In mid-January, PVC appeared to be down another penny.

Contributing factors: PVC producers’ operating rates in December were the lowest in five years—67% according to the American Plastics Council’s preliminary numbers. Processors say orders are way down for PVC windows, siding, and other building products. The bright spots are solid demand for white municipal pipe and foamed trim board, a new wood-replacement market.

 

PS rises 3¢

Polystyrene resin producers all announced a 3¢/lb increase for Jan. 1, which appeared to be taking hold despite processors’ resistance. For resin makers, it recoups 3¢ lost in December. They then announced hikes of 3¢ or 4¢/lb for Jan. 15, but industry observers are skeptical about their chances of success. Meanwhile, EPS makers are expected to push through the 4¢ hike announced in mid-January.

Contributing factors: When the Jan. 1 PS price increase was announced in December, contract benzene prices were down to $3.32/gal. (Benzene is a key feedstock for styrene monomer.) Benzene contracts for January were up again to $3.74, but resin demand is still slow, especially for HIPS in durable goods, after a very weak November and December. EPS demand, however, is good.

 

Dow hikes ABS, SAN

Blaming benzene prices and their carryover effect on styrene monomer, Dow Chemical raised prices of ABS and SAN by 7¢/lb on Feb. 1. 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-Jan 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 - 100     3.7 - 3.8    
 SHEET   94 - 110     3.5 - 4.2    
 TRANSPARENT   129 - 200     5.6 - 8.8    
 FITTINGS   89 - 110     3.5 - 4.3    
 PLATING   100 - 130     3.9 - 5.1    
 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 - 350     9.0 - 16    


 ACETAL 

  

  
 
 HOMOPOL   151 - 172     7.7 - 8.7    
 20% GLASS   171 - 235     8.7 - 11.9    
 COPOLYMER   144 - 160     7.3 - 8.1    
 25% GLASS   171 - 245     8.7 - 12.4    


 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 

315   

13.4   
 


 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   156 - 167     19.6 - 21    
 30% GLASS, FR   185 - 207     11.9    
 STRUCT FOAM   159 - 165     NAd    


 PET 

  

  
 
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR)   78 - 80     3.9 - 4.0    
 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   79 - 81     2.6 - 2.7    
 INJECTION   80 - 82     2.7    
 LID RESIN   82 - 84     2.7 - 2.8    
 LINER   76 - 78     2.5 - 2.6    
 CLARITY   75 - 77     2.5 - 2.6    
 EXTRU COATG   79 - 81     2.6 - 2.7    
 BLOW MOLD   82 - 84     2.7 - 2.8    


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   65 - 67     2.2 - 2.3    
 LME 30-DAYj   50.3 Prices Went Down 
  1.7 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   67 - 69     2.3 - 2.4    
 ROTOMOLD   69 - 71     2.3 - 2.4    


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   70 - 72     2.4    
 LID RESIN   80 - 82     2.7    
 LINER FILM   74 - 76     2.5 - 2.6    


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   67 - 69     2.4    
 FILM   74 - 76     2.5 - 2.6    
 BLOW MOLD   70 - 72     2.4 - 2.5    

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   74 - 76     2.5 - 2.6    
 FILM   73 - 75     2.5    
 PIPE   81 - 83     2.7 - 2.8    


 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 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   50.3 Prices Went Down 
  1.6 Prices Went Down 
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   72 - 74 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 Prices Went Up  
 
 PROFILES   81 - 83 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   81 - 83 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   79 - 81 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   90 - 92 Prices Went Up  
  3.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI IMP   93 - 95 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 Prices Went Up  
 


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

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


 EPS 

  

  
 
 UNMODIFIED   85 - 88     NAd    
 MODIFIED   86 - 90     NAd    


 POLYSULFONE 

569 - 622   

25 - 28   
 
 10% GLASS 430 20.6   749 - 799     36 - 39    
 30% GLASS 372 20.01   659 - 699     32 - 34    


 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   47 - 49 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 PIPE   46 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 FILM   55 - 58 Prices Went Down 
  NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING   68 - 70     NAd    
 DISPERSION HOMOPOLY   81 - 87     NAd    
 COPOLYMER   86 - 90     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   218 - 230     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   243     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..