Polyolefin prices were on the way up in October, as resin suppliers pointed to rising monomer costs to justify their previously announced resin hikes.

Polyolefin prices were on the way up in October, as resin suppliers pointed to rising monomer costs to justify their previously announced resin hikes. So far this year, polyethylene prices have gained a total of 15¢ to 17¢/lb (the larger figure is for hexene and octene LLDPE). Polypropylene prices have risen a total of 11¢/lb.

According to Mike Burns, global business director for polyethylene at resin purchasing consultant Resin Technology, Inc. (RTI), Fort Worth, Texas, this is the first year in recent memory in which 10 months of continuous PE price increases were implemented—five in total—with no price reversals. PE suppliers saw double-digit profit margins (10¢ to 17¢/lb, Burns says) through August, compared with polypropylene suppliers’ margins of only 2¢ to 3¢/lb.

Despite lackluster domestic demand for polyolefins, an exceptionally strong export market for most of this year has kept resin producers’ plant operating rates above 90% and their inventories in balance. Still, industry sources expect weakening domestic and export demand to bring resin buyers some price relief late in the year—though less than occurred at the end of 2006.

Editor’s note: Based on new information, we have adjusted our polyolefin prices in the table lower than last month, in order to bring them closer to market reality.

 

Polyethylene prices up

Last month, it looked like PE producers would push through the full 4¢ increase that had been announced for Sept. 1. However, they face uncertain prospects of implementing the 5¢ hike announced for Sept. 15.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) short-term futures contract for November in blown film butene-LLDPE sold at 57.3¢/lb, slightly up from October’s 57.1¢.

Contributing factors: Suppliers attribute this price hike directly to increased ethylene monomer contract prices, which rose 3¢ to 52.5¢/lb in September, and further 2¢ to 4¢ increases loomed for October. Monomer prices are linked to escalating ethane prices and supply tightness. Another factor is a recent surge of resin exports.

“This latest price increase will not help domestic processors, as their business has been relatively slow and they have had difficulty in passing through this year’s increases,” says RTI’s Burns. One leading PE supplier says domestic demand in October was more robust than in September.

Still, Burns and other industry sources expect some price relief over the next two months. As a sign that things may be changing, spot PE prices dropped for the first time in August and remained flat in September. Also, some softening of monomer prices is possible as plant operating rates return to more normal levels after a series of planned and unplanned production outages.

 

PP prices rising

Polypropylene prices were expected to move up last month as suppliers seemed set to implement their Oct. 1 hikes of 3¢ to 4¢/lb. Meanwhile, LME’s futures contract for g-p injection-grade homopolymer for November sold at 59.3¢/lb, up from October’s 57.4¢.

Contributing factors: Driving this increase are higher monomer costs. Although record-high propylene monomer prices appeared to peak in August, the subsequent price relief was short-lived. One leading PP supplier attributed high monomer prices to planned and unplanned production outages, higher oil prices, and shifts to the use of lighter feedstocks, which reduces propylene supply.

September monomer contract prices moved up 2.5¢ to 53.75¢/lb. With the monomer said to be very tight, October propylene contracts were most likely to rise another 3¢, according to Scott Newell, RTI’s director of client services for PP. At the same time, Newell says resin exports are starting to slow, inventories are creeping up, and spot PP prices have dropped.

 

Engineering resins go higher

On Nov. 1, DuPont hiked prices of nylons, PET, PBT, PCT, and LCP by 12¢/lb, acetal by 10¢ and Hytrel TPE by 15¢. Competitors are considering pricing moves, too.

DuPont also raised tabs on ethylene copolymers—6¢ for EVAs and 8¢ on all others Nov. 1. 

 

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

 ABS 

  

  
 
 MED IMPACT   84 - 95     3.2 - 3.6    
 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   160     6.0    
 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   69 - 71 Prices Went Up  
  2.3 - 2.4 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM EXTRU   67 - 69 Prices Went Up  
  2.3 Prices Went Up  
 


 EVOH 

330   

15   
 


 FLUORO-POLYMER 

  

  
 
 CTFE   5000 - 6000     385 - 462    
 ECTFE   1200 - 1680     90.7 - 120    
 ETFE   1155 - 1680     70.7 - 102.8    
 FEP   971 - 1470     74.8 - 113.2    
 PFA   1550 - 2520     120 - 195    
 PTFE   450 - 900     34.8 - 69.7    
 PVDF   660 - 1000     49.9 - 75.6    


 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     6.8 - 7.0    
 HI-IMP   160 - 165     8.4 - 8.6    
 30% GLASS, FR   190 - 210     11.2 - 12.5    
 STRUCT FOAM   159 - 165     NAd    


 PET 

  

  
 
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR)   78 - 80     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   137 - 147     NAd    
 ISOPHTHALIC   165 - 180     NAd    
 BIS-A   210 - 220     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   73 - 75 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   75 - 77 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 LID RESIN   77 - 79 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 LINER   72 - 74 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 CLARITY   71 - 73 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 Prices Went Up  
 
 EXTRU COATG   76 - 78 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 BLOW MOLD   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 


 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   70 - 72 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   57.3 Prices Went Up  
  2.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   72 - 74 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 ROTOMOLD   72 - 74 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 


 LLDPE, HAO-BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   73 - 75 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 LID RESIN   83 - 85 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 LINER FILM   76 - 78 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 


 HDPE 

  

  
 
 G-P INJ MOLD   70 - 72 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   79 - 81 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 BLOW MOLD   80 - 82 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 

 HMW-HDPE 

  

  
 
 BLOW MOLDING   77 - 79 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 PIPE   85 - 87 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 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   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   76 - 76 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 - 2.5 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   59.3 Prices Went Up  
  2.0 Prices Went Up  
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   73 - 75 Prices Went Up  
  2.4 Prices Went Up  
 
 PROFILES   77 - 79 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   78 - 80 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   77 - 79 Prices Went Up  
  2.5 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   88 - 90 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 - 2.9 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI IMP   90 - 92 Prices Went Up  
  2.9 - 3.0 Prices Went Up  
 


 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL   83 - 89     3.1 - 3.3    
 HI HEAT   86 - 92     3.2 - 3.4    
 HIPS   84 - 89     3.1 - 3.3    
 SUPER HI IMP   94 - 98     3.5 - 3.7    
 FR   99 - 107     3.7 - 4.0    
 STRUCT FM (FR)   105 - 108     NA    


 EPS 

  

  
 
 UNMODIFIED   85 - 88     NAd    
 MODIFIED   86 - 90     NAd    


 POLYSULFONE 

650 - 750   

29 - 33   
 
 10% GLASS 430 20.6   799 - 875     36 - 39    
 30% GLASS 372 20.01   699 - 775     31 - 35    


 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   54 - 56     NAd    
 PIPE   53     NAd    
 FILM   59 - 62     NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING   69 - 74     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) 

80 - 88   

3.0 - 3.3   
 


 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   218 - 235     NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   243 - 248     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..