Domestic resin demand was moderate to slow in the second quarter, but exports were booming and many feedstock prices were rising.

Domestic resin demand was moderate to slow in the second quarter, but exports were booming and many feedstock prices were rising. The result is more price hikes for most commodity resins, the big exception being polypropylene, which actually dropped in price.

 

PE prices on the way up

Some PE suppliers pushed their 5¢/lb increase from June to July 1, while others tried to implement the hike right away. Some industry sources expect more efforts to raise prices soon. Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange (LME) short-term futures contract for July in blown film butene LLDPE sold at 55.1¢/lb, up from June’s 54¢.

Contributing factors: Supplier inventories for LDPE and HDPE are said to be very low. Ethylene monomer supply is leaning toward tightness. Ethylene moved up 4¢/lb in April and May. Analysts expect another 1¢ to 2¢ rise in June.

Resin suppliers did not see the usual seasonal surge in PE demand in the second quarter, but they are encouraged by gradual month-to-month improvements. Says one, “Domestic sales from January to May were down 1.3%—250 million lb—from 2006. But PE resin exports were up 31%, or 750 million lb, which puts us ahead by 450 million lb in total sales.”

Says Mike Burns, managing partner at resin-purchasing consultant Resin Technology, Inc. (RTI) in Fort Worth, Texas, “We see further opportunity for LDPE and HDPE exports. So we are telling our customers that PE prices will hold. Despite generally lackluster domestic demand for PE goods, we are suggesting that they buy a little extra resin if they can this month.” Burns notes that any ethylene monomer production disruption or upsurge in ethylene demand from the PVC construction sector could tighten the screws on feedstock supply. He and other industry sources don’t expect any decline in PE prices this summer.

 

PP prices slump

PP contract prices were expected to fall 2¢ to 2.5¢/lb last month after a drop of 5¢ to 6¢/lb in spot resin prices in May. LME’s July futures contract for g-p injection-grade homopolymer sold at 55.4¢, down from June’s 58.1¢/lb.

Contributing factors: PP tabs have followed propylene monomer contract prices, which rose 13¢/lb through May and then dropped 2.5¢ in June. Industry sources say monomer could fall another 2.5¢ to 3¢/lb in July and August. “There is no guarantee that July monomer contracts will drop,” cautions RTI managing partner Scott Newell, “because refineries have not been running well and propylene inventories have dropped. They are vulnerable to any major production disruption.”

While domestic PP demand has been flat or slightly negative, exports soared 240% in January to April over last year. Resin plant utilization rates are 90% to 95%, while inventories are 10 to 15 days below normal.

 

PVC prices on the rise

PVC producers all supported a 2¢ increase for June. Georgia Gulf led a further 2¢ hike for July 1, but it had no followers as of mid-June. Several large PVC compounders also announced increases on rigid and flexible compounds totaling 7¢ to 8¢/lb from March to June.

 

PS hikes cause confusion

Dow split its May increase, allowing processors a choice of swallowing a 5¢ hike for the whole month or just 3¢ until May 15 and 7¢ thereafter. That left some processors paying 2¢/lb more than others at the end of May. Dow and most other suppliers announced a further 3¢ hike for June, while Total posted only a 2¢ increase. The result is some confusion over where prices stand.

Contributing factors: May PS demand was the strongest yet this year. June was slightly lower, but still good. June may have seen the PS price peak for a while. Benzene feedstock contract price is $4/gal, down from $4.20, but spot benzene in mid-June was $3.60 to $3.70/gal.

More price increases

  • Ticona raised PET and PBT 12¢ on July 2.
  • Rhodia hiked nylon 6 and 66 by 7¢ to 7.5¢/lb.
  • Lubrizol’s Estane TPUs cost 14¢/lb more on July 13.
  • Thermoset polyesters, vinyl esters, and gel coats rose for a second month in a row. AOC, CCP, Interplastic, and Reichhold hiked tabs 7¢/lb early this month. 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-June 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   145 - 150 Prices Went Up  
  6.8 - 7.0   
 
 HI-IMP   160 - 165 Prices Went Up  
  8.4 - 8.6   
 
 30% GLASS, FR   190 - 210 Prices Went Up  
  11.2 - 12.5   
 
 STRUCT FOAM   159 - 165 Prices Went Up  
  NAd   
 


 PET 

  

  
 
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR)   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  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   147 - 152     NAd    
 ISOPHTHALIC   175 - 185     NAd    
 BIS-A   220 - 225     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   80 - 82     2.6 - 2.7    
 INJECTION   82 - 84     2.7    
 LID RESIN   84 - 86     2.7 - 2.8    
 LINER   79 - 81     2.6 - 2.7    
 CLARITY   78 - 80     2.5 - 2.6    
 EXTRU COATG   83 - 85     2.7    
 BLOW MOLD   85 - 87     2.8    


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   67 - 69     2.3 - 2.4    
 LME 30-DAYj   54.9 Prices Went Down 
  1.9 Prices Went Down 
 
 FILM   54.9     1.9    
 ROTOMOLD   69 - 71     2.3 - 2.4    


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   72 - 74     2.4 - 2.5    
 LID RESIN   83 - 85     2.7 - 2.8    
 LINER FILM   76 - 78     2.6    


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   69 - 71     2.4    
 FILM   78 - 80     2.6 - 2.7    
 BLOW MOLD   72 - 74     2.4 - 2.5    

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   76 - 78     2.6    
 FILM   77 - 79     2.6    
 PIPE   84 - 86     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   450 - 520     27.0 - 31.2    
 55% GLASS/MINERAL   345 - 420     22.7 - 27.7    
 65% GLASS/MINERAL   270 - 315     18.9 - 22.1    


 POLYPROPYLENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL INJECTION   83 - 85 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   58.1 Prices Went Down 
  2.0 Prices Went Down 
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   81 - 83 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 PROFILES   87 - 88 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   85 - 87 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   86 - 88 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   88 - 90 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 - 2.9 Prices Went Up  
 
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   96 - 98 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 - 3.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI IMP   98 - 100 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 - 3.3 Prices Went Up  
 


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL   84 - 89 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.3   
 
 HI HEAT   87 - 93 Prices Went Up  
  3.3 - 3.5   
 
 HIPS   85 - 90 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 - 3.4   
 
 SUPER HI IMP   95 - 99 Prices Went Up  
  3.6 - 3.7   
 
 FR   103 - 111 Prices Went Up 
  3.9 - 4.2   
 
 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   125 - 145     NAd    
 80/20 TDI   135 - 145     NAd    


 PVC RESIN (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P HOMOPOL   50 - 52     NAd    
 PIPE   49     NAd    
 FILM   55 - 58     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          
 WHITE & IVORY          


 VINYL ESTER 

  

  
 
 COR RES   228 - 240     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   253     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..