Despite lackluster domestic demand, relentless increases in feedstock costs are forcing suppliers to push for higher resin prices.

Despite lackluster domestic demand, relentless increases in feedstock costs are forcing suppliers to push for higher resin prices. PVC demand is slack enough to put hikes in doubt.

 

PE PRICES UP

Polyethylene prices rose 3¢/lb in April, half of the 6¢ increase announced in December. The second half was expected to take effect in May, and a new 5¢ hike was announced for June 1. The London Metal Exchange (LME) North American futures contract for June in blown film butene LLDPE was 68.5¢/lb, up 0.9¢ from May.

Contributing factors: Mike Burns, global business director for PE at resin purchasing consultant Resin Technology, Inc. (RTI) in Fort Worth, Texas, expected PE suppliers to get their 3¢ hike in May. Domestic demand was down 3% to 6% in the first quarter vs. a year ago, and little improvement was expected in the second quarter. But resin operating rates reportedly are still running near 90%, thanks to export demand. “PE exports are still above average, yet lower than the very high levels of last year,” said Burns.

In addition, March’s ethylene monomer contract price had moved up from 58.5¢ to 61.5¢/lb, and spot ethylene prices also rose a few cents in April. Upwards movement seemed likely to continue, driven by low ethylene supplies. At press time, monomer contract negotiations for April/May involved possible increases from 3¢ to over 6¢/lb.

 

PP PRICES RISING

Polypropylene prices moved up 3¢ to 4¢/lb in April in a partial implementation of an announced 5¢ hike. An additional 5¢/lb increase for May 1 was revised upward by some suppliers to 7¢. Meanwhile, LME’s June North American short-term futures contract for g-p injection-grade homopolymer sold for 73.94¢, up more than 5¢ from May.

Contributing factors: Rising costs of feedstocks and energy to produce PP are cited by suppliers as justifying higher resin prices. Propylene monomer rose 5.5¢/lb in March and April, reaching a new record of 65¢/lb. Negotiations for May contract prices signaled increases of at least 4¢. Tight monomer supplies are not expected to ease soon. Scott Newell, RTI’s director of client services for PP says June could see another resin price hike.

Domestic PP demand was down 6.5% through April vs. last year. Exports dropped 20%, as U.S. resin prices are now too high. Suppliers have cut back North American PP capacity, and LyondellBasell just announced plans to halt PP production at the Equistar plant in Morris, Ill., by the end of the year. Suppliers’ resin inventories are pretty well balanced vs. demand. Says RTI’s Newell, “They are only making as much as they can sell. This gives them the leverage to pass through price increases as feedstock costs rise.”

 

PET COSTS MORE

PET prices moved up 5¢/lb as suppliers implemented their April increase. The move was driven by higher feedstock costs. In April, paraxylene went up 4¢/lb and ethylene glycol rose 2¢/lb. Together they translate into at least 2¢ to 3¢ higher cost/lb of PET. Although suppliers project increases in domestic demand of 5% to 6% this year—significantly less than the double-digit growth of recent years—first-quarter demand was flat. Some improvement is expected by mid-year, peak season for PET.

 

PVC HIKE IN DOUBT

PVC prices eventually settled up 2¢ in March and April, an increase deferred from Feb. 1. In May, PVC producers all announced a 4¢/lb hike for June 1. These increases are based solely on feedstock costs. Demand is still so weak that processors say any increase will have to be delayed. A bump upward in May was attributed to prebuying.
PS UP 4¢ TO 6¢

Ineos announced a hike of 4¢/lb for crystal PS and 6¢ for HIPS as of June 1. It was supported by Total and Americas Styrenics, the joint venture between Dow and Chevron Phillips, which went live May 1. The hikes are based on soaring benzene costs. Contract benzene hit $3.87/gal in May, up 12¢ from April. Butadiene rubber, which makes up 8-10% of HIPS, is short and on allocation, adding more cost pressure. Meanwhile demand picked up slightly, though not to normal spring levels. 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-May A

 
 
 RESIN GRADEb¢/LB¢/CU INc 
ABS
MED IMPACT90 - 1103.4 - 4.2
HI IMPACT95 - 1313.6 - 5.0
X-HI IMPACT105 - 1454.0 - 5.5
HI HEAT90 - 1253.4 - 4.7
PIPE89 - 1003.7 - 3.8
SHEET94 - 1103.5 - 4.2
TRANSPARENT129 - 2005.6 - 8.8
FITTINGS89 - 1103.5 - 4.3
PLATING1606.0
FLAME RET124 - 1404.6 - 5.9
STRUCT FM87 - 973.2 - 4.3
10% GLASS129 - 1404.8 - 5.6
30% GLASS124 - 1364.6 - 6.3
ABS/PC ALLOY149 - 1805.5 - 6.8
ABS/PVC ALLOY134 - 1395.0 - 5.2
ABS/NYLON ALLOY194 - 3509.0 - 16 
   
ACETAL
HOMOPOL151 - 1727.7 - 8.7
20% GLASS171 - 2358.7 - 11.9
COPOLYMER144 - 1607.3 - 8.1
25% GLASS171 - 2458.7 - 12.4
ACRYLIC  
G-P1175.0
IMPACT1928.2
ACRYLONITRILE COPOL
EXTRUSION101 - 1164.0 - 4.6
INJECTION120 - 1354.8 - 5.4
   
ALKYD65 - 744.9 - 5.5
CELLULOSICS  
ACETATE1878.6
CAB1898.2
CAP1898.2
DAP (G-P)251 - 49716.7 - 34.7
   
EPOXY
G-P RESIN116 - 126NAd
COMPOUNDS  
C/B/Te123 - 1669.4 - 12.9
R/C/Df208 - 27115.3 - 20.1
   
SEMICONDUCTOR
NOVOLAC193 - 22813.1 - 15.9
ANHYDRIDE188 - 26813.9 - 19.2
   
EVA
INJECTION69 - 712.3 - 2.4
FILM EXTRU67 - 692.3
EVOH33015
   
FLUORO-POLYMER 
CTFE5000 - 6000385 - 462 
ECTFE1200 - 168090.7 - 120 
ETFE1205 - 173080.7 - 115.8 
FEP971 - 147074.8 - 113.2 
PFA1550 - 2520120 - 195 
PTFE500 - 95033.5 - 63.6 
PVDF693 - 105044.4 - 67.2 
    
IONOMER 
PACKAGING127 - 1664.3 - 6.0 
INDUSTRIAL150 - 2445.0 - 8.3 
    
LIQUID-CRYSTAL POLYMERS 
INJECTION MIN FILLED690 - 103544.2 - 72.1 
GLASS FILLED695 - 89540 - 52 
CARBON FILLED1700 - 200083.2 - 138.6 
UNFILLED1000 - 120058 - 70 
EXTRUSION UNFILLED1200 - 220060.5 - 110.9 
MELAMINE COMPOUND90 - 945.5 - 5.6 
MELAMINE/PHENOLIC COMPOUND75 - 834.5 - 5.0 
    
NYLON 
TYPE 6139 - 1595.7 - 6.5 
MIN FILLED131 - 1445.4 - 5.9 
30% GLASS148 - 1736.0 - 7.0 
TYPE 66153 - 1686.3 - 6.9 
MIN FILLED151 - 1596.2 - 6.5 
30% GLASS142 - 1925.8 - 7.9 
TYPE 69250 - 2769.7 - 10.7 
TYPE 6/10286 - 31312.4 - 13.6 
TYPE 61240015.3 
30% GLASS309 - 31114.7 
40% GLASS30914.7 
TYPE 4629512.6 
TYPE 11329 - 34113.6 - 14.1 
30% GLASS331 - 35015.0 - 15.8 
40% GLASS347 - 36017.7 - 18.5 
TYPE 12318 - 34112.1 - 13.0 
30% GLASS327 - 35014.7 - 15.8 
50% GLASS299 - 34015.6 - 17.8 
TRANSPARENT AMORPHOUS247 - 36010.3 - 15.0 
PHENOLIC MOLD COMP753.8 
REINFORCED GRADES105 - 2686.1 - 16 
    
POLYAMIDE-IMIDEg 
UNFILLED2750148.5 
30% GLASS2500135 
30% CARBON FIB.3500185 
POLYARYLATE200 - 2808.8 - 12.3 
POLYARYL SULFONE44021.8 
    
POLYBUTYLENE 
G-P94 - 963.1 
FILM88 - 912.9 
    
PIPE
COLD WATER116 - 1203.9 - 4.0 
HOT WATER162 - 1665.5 - 5.6 
    
POLYCARBONATE 
INJECTION171 - 1827.4 - 7.9 
20% GLASS177 - 1907.6 - 8.2 
30% GLASS178 - 2177.6 - 9.3 
EXTRUSION145 - 1806.3 - 7.8 
BLOW MOLD150 - 1857.0 - 7.5 
STRUCT FOAM149 - 1816.4 - 7.8 
20% GLASS235 - 25510.1 - 11.0 
FR166 - 1977.1 - 8.5 
CD135 - 1955.8 - 8.4 
    
POLYESTER (TP) PBT TYPE 
UNFILLED145 - 1506.8 - 7.3 
HI-IMP165 - 1757.8 - 8.3 
30% GLASS, FR195 - 2159.2 - 10.1 
STRUCT FOAM159 - 165NAd 
    
PET
BOTTLE (RAILCAR)80 - 82 Prices Went Up4.0 - 4.1 Prices Went Up 
    
MOD PET
30% GLASS132 - 1437.4 
55% GLASS148 - 1559.8 
30% GLASS FLAME RET147 - 1579.2 
PETG COPOL114 - 1245.2 - 5.6 
    
POLYESTER THERMOSET 
G-P ORTHO147 - 157NAd 
ISOPHTHALIC175 - 190NAd 
BIS-A210 - 230NAd 
    
PEEK4400231 
 30% GLASS3300173 
    
POLYETHERIMIDE641 - 64629.3 - 29.5 
 30% GLASS526 - 53124.0 - 24.2 
    
POLYETHERKETONE (PEK)2950130.1   
 30% GLASS2600153   
    
POLYETHERSULFONE350 - 40017.2 - 19.7 
 30% GLASS425 - 525  21 - 25.9 
    
POLYETHYLENE (RAILCAR) LDPE 
G-P MOLDING & EXTRU78 - 81 Prices Went Up2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up 
INJECTION80 - 85 Prices Went Up2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up 
LID RESIN82 - 84 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
LINER77 - 79 Prices Went Up2.6 Prices Went Up 
CLARITY76 - 78 Prices Went Up2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up 
EXTRU COATG81 - 83 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
BLOW MOLD83 - 84 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
LLDPE, BUTENE BASED   
G-P MOLDING75 - 77 Prices Went Up2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up 
LME 30-DAYj80 - 82 Prices Went Up2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up 
FILM68.5 Prices Went Up2.3 Prices Went Up 
ROTOMOLD77 - 79 Prices Went Up2.6 Prices Went Up 
LLDPE, HAO-BASED   
G-P MOLDING78 - 80 Prices Went Up2.6 Prices Went Up 
LID RESIN88 - 90 Prices Went Up2.8 Prices Went Up 
LINER FILM81 - 83 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
HDPE   
G-P INJ MOLD75 - 77 Prices Went Up2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up 
FILM84 - 86 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
BLOW MOLD85 - 88 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
    
HMW-HDPE 
BLOW MOLDING82 - 84 Prices Went Up2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up 
FILM83 - 86 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
PIPE90 - 93 Prices Went Up2.9 - 3.0 Prices Went Up 
UHMW-PE1.00 - 1.253.6 - 3.7 
    
PPE/PPO BASED RESIN 
INJECTION1806.8 
20% GLASSh28312.3 
30% GLASSh29113.3 
EXTRUSIONh2429.2 
STRUCT FM231NAd 
    
PPS
40% GLASS450 - 52027.0 - 31.2 
55% GLASS/MINERAL345 - 42022.7 - 27.7 
65% GLASS/MINERAL270 - 31518.9 - 22.1 
    
POLYPROPYLENE (RAILCAR)
G-P HOMOPOL INJECTION82 - 84 Prices Went Up2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up 
LME 30-DAYj73.9 Prices Went Up2.4 Prices Went Up 
EXTRUSION FIBER80 - 82 Prices Went Up2.6 Prices Went Up 
PROFILES85 - 87 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
    
RANDOM COPOL 
BLOW MOLDING86 - 88 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
FILM86 - 88 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
INJECTION85 - 87 Prices Went Up2.7 Prices Went Up 
    
IMPACT COPOL
MED IMP96 - 98 Prices Went Up3.0 - 3.1 Prices Went Up 
HI IMP98 - 100 Prices Went Up3.1 Prices Went Up 
    
POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 
G-P CRYSTAL91 - 973.4 - 3.6 
HI HEAT94 - 1003.7 - 3.6 
HIPS92 - 973.4 - 3.6 
SUPER HI IMP101 - 1063.8 - 4.0 
FR107 - 1134.0 - 4.2 
STRUCT FM (FR)105 - 108NA 
    
EPS
UNMODIFIED85 - 88NAd 
MODIFIED86 - 90NAd 
POLYSULFONE650 - 75029 - 33 
10% GLASS 430 20.6799 - 87536 - 39 
30% GLASS 372 20.01699 - 77531 - 35 
    
POLYURETHANE (TP)
ESTER TYPE185 - 2558 - 11 
ETHER TYPE245 - 29510.6 - 13 
    
PU ISOCYANATES
POLYMERIC MDI125 - 145NAd 
80/20 TDI135 - 145NAd 
    
PVC RESIN (RAILCAR) 
G-P HOMOPOL57 - 59 Prices Went UpNAd 
PIPE56 Prices Went UpNAd 
FILM62 - 64 Prices Went UpNAd 
COPOLYMER FLOORING69 - 74NAd 
DISPERSION HOMOPOLY81 - 87NAd 
COPOLYMER86 - 90NAd 
CPVC PIPE COMPOUND119NAd 
    
PVDC 
EXTRUDABLE162NAd 
    
SILICONES 
MOLD. COMP.581 - 64038.1 - 39.3 
SPECIALTY GR.891 - 3148NAd 
SILICONE/EPOXY339 - 34322.5 - 22.8 
STYRENEACRYLIC108 - 1123.7 - 4.0 
SAN (G-P)80 - 883.0 - 3.3 
    
STYRENE MALEIC ANHYDRIDE 
G-P110 - 1154.2 - 4.3 
HI IMP130 - 1404.2 - 4.5 
FR175 - 1836.7 - 7.0 
    
TP ELASTOMERS 
OLEFINIC70 - 762.4 
POLYAMIDE300 - 35010.9 - 12.7 
POLYESTER200 - 3108.8 - 13.6 
STYRENIC82 - 2372.9 - 8.3 
    
UREA MOLDING COMPOUND 
BLACK & BROWN   
WHITE & IVORY   
    
VINYL ESTER 
COR RES223 - 240NAd 
HEAT & COR RES248 - 253NAd 
    

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..