Moderating feedstock costs, slack domestic demand, and slumping exports are putting the brakes on price hikes for most commodity resins.

Moderating feedstock costs, slack domestic demand, and slumping exports are putting the brakes on price hikes for most commodity resins. Polypropylene may be the exception.

 

PE PRICES FLAT

Polyethylene prices held steady through August and were expected to remain so through September. Announced 4¢/lb increases for September were unlikely to be implemented. Still, a new 5¢ hike was posted for Oct. 1. The London Metal Exchange (LME) North American short-term futures contract in blown-film butene LLDPE for October was 47.4¢/lb, up from September’s 45.5¢

Contributing factors: PE prices have been driven by two factors: higher feedstock costs due to several planned and unplanned outages at refineries and steam crackers, and exports—particularly to China. “This activity remained strong from June through August, and then stopped totally in September,” says Mike Burns, business director for PE at resin purchasing consultant Resin Technology Inc. (RTI), Fort Worth, Texas.

The scenario now appears quite different. For one thing, the feedstock issue is resolving itself as refineries and crackers have restarted. Ethylene spot prices have stabilized around 28¢ to 29¢/lb. And exports to China are unlikely to revive anytime soon, as that market now experiences higher inventories and softer demand.

Unless there is an uptick in demand, PE prices will trend downward. But don’t expect an immediate drop, because North American PE makers’ inventories are at a historical low—under 30 days, estimates RTI’s Burns.

 

PP PRICES TO MOVE UP

Polypropylene prices rose about 4¢/lb by the end of August. PP makers also issued price hikes of 12¢ to 15¢/lb for Sept. 1. At least some of that is likely to be implemented. The LME short-term futures contract on g-p injection-grade homopolymer for October rose to 49.6¢ from September’s 46.5¢/lb.

Contributing factors: PP prices are entirely feedstock driven. Propylene monomer has been extremely tight as a result of refinery and steam-cracker outages. Monomer contract prices rose 4¢/lb in August and a whopping 12¢ in September to a level of 57¢/lb, according to senior editor Mark Quinner of Houston-based PetroChem Wire. Despite PP demand being off at least 13% this year, suppliers’ margins are very thin—2¢/lb vs. 10¢ for PE.

 

PVC TABS PEAKING?

Two cents of the announced 3¢/lb hike for Aug. 1 went through, and suppliers were trying for the last penny in September. Shintech, OxyChem, and Georgia Gulf all posted a further 2¢ increase for Sept. 1, while Westlake asked for 3¢. But Formosa isn’t supporting the increase, so it isn’t considered viable.

Contributing factors: Pipe demand, already poor, weakened further in September. But demand for windows and siding is up.

 

PS HIKES EVAPORATE

Dramatic PS increases announced for Aug. 1 and 15, totaling 10¢ to 11¢/lb, fizzled after a 25% drop in benzene prices. Contract benzene for September settled at $2.79/gal, down from $3.65 in August. That represents an 8¢ decrease in the cost of making PS. Styrene monomer was expected to drop 6¢ to 8¢/lb in September. So far, this has not affected prime resin prices, but wide-spec PS prices gave up some of the earlier July increase.

Contributing factors: Exports of styrene monomer to Europe have dried up. But there’s still upward pressure on HIPS from rubber costs. Butadiene prices rose about 5¢/lb in September, but all producers are now operating again and are off allocation, so butadiene prices are expected to level out.

 

PET PRICES UP FOR NOW

Bottle-grade PET prices moved up 3¢/lb in August, but announced Sept. 1 hikes of 3¢ to 4¢ appeared dead on arrival.

Contributing factors: Expected feedstock cost increases did not materialize. Prices of paraxylene held even in September, and ethylene glycol rose only 1¢/lb, according to Mike Dewsbury, RTI’s business director for PET. Moreover, lower prices are expected for these feedstocks as new global capacity has come on stream, which should bring down PET prices through the third quarter, according to Dewsbury. Significant impact is also anticipated from 800 to 900 million lb of new PET capacity coming this year from Indoroma Polymers at its AlphaPet venture in Decatur, Ala. 

 

 

Market Prices Effective Mid-September A

 
 
 RESIN GRADEb¢/LB¢/CU INc

ABS 
  

  
 
 MED IMPACT   95 - 115     3.6 - 4.4    
 HI IMPACT   100 - 135     3.7 - 5.1    
 X-HI IMPACT   15 - 155     4.3 - 5.8    
 HI HEAT   95 - 130     3.6 - 5.0    
 PIPE   90 - 100     3.3 - 3.7    
 SHEET   95 - 110     3.8 - 4.4    
 TRANSPARENT   139 - 210     5.4 - 8.2    
 FITTINGS   99 - 120     3.7 - 8.0    
 PLATING   170     6.4    
 FLAME RET   125 - 145     5.4 - 6.2    
 STRUCT FM   97 - 107     4.3 - 4.7    
 10% GLASS   139 - 150     5.3 - 5.7    
 30% GLASS   134 - 146     5.0 - 5.5    
 ABS/PC ALLOY   159 - 190     6.0 - 7.2    
 ABS/PVC ALLOY   144 - 149     5.4 - 5.6    
 ABS/NYLON ALLOY   204 - 360     7.7 - 13.6    

 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     2.3 - 2.4    
 FILM EXTRU   67 - 69     2.3    

 EVOH 

330   

15   
 

 FLUORO-POLYMER 

  

  
 
 CTFE   5000 - 6000     385 - 462    
 ECTFE   1200 - 1680     90.7 - 120    
 ETFE   1205 - 1730     80.7 - 115.8    
 FEP   971 - 1470     74.8 - 113.2    
 PFA   1550 - 2520     120 - 195    
 PTFE   500 - 950     33.5 - 63.6    
 PVDF   750 - 1200     48 - 76.9    

 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   134 - 169     5.5 - 6.9    
 MIN FILLED   126 - 154     6.2 - 8.2    
 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   650 - 750     24.3 - 28    
 30% GLASS   NAd - NAd     NAd - NAd    
 40% GLASS   NAd - NAd     NAd - NAd    
 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   163 - 178     7.0 - 7.7    
 20% GLASS   169 - 186     8.2 - 9.0    
 30% GLASS   170 - 212     8.8 - 10.3    
 EXTRUSION   138 - 176     6.0 - 7.6    
 BLOW MOLD   143 - 181     6.2 - 7.8    
 STRUCT FOAM   142 - 177     6.2 - 7.7    
 20% GLASS   224 - 248     9.8 - 10.8    
 FR   158 - 193     6.9 - 8.4    
 CD   129 - 191     5.6 - 8.3    

 POLYESTER (TP) PBT TYPE 

  

  
 
 UNFILLED   145 - 150     6.8 - 7.3    
 HI-IMP   165 - 175     7.8 - 8.3    
 30% GLASS, FR   195 - 215     9.2 - 10.1    
 STRUCT FOAM   159 - 165     NAd    

 PET 

  

  
 
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR)   73 - 76 Prices Went Up  
  3.7 - 3.8 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    

 POLYESTER THERMOSET 

  

  
 
 G-P ORTHO   155 - 166 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 ISOPHTHALIC   179 - 200 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 BIS-A   214 - 239 Prices Went Up  
  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   78 - 80     2.6    
 INJECTION   80 - 82     2.6 - 2.7    
 LID RESIN   81 - 83     2.7    
 LINER   76 - 78     2.5 - 2.6    
 CLARITY   74 - 76     2.5    
 EXTRU COATG   81 - 83     2.7    
 BLOW MOLD   83 - 85     2.7 - 2.8    

 LLDPE, BUTENE BASED 

  

  
 
 G-P MOLDING   68 - 70     2.4    
 LME 30-DAYj   47.4 Prices Went Up  
  1.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   70 - 72     2.4    
 ROTOMOLD   70 - 72     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     2.5 - 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   88 - 90     2.8 - 2.9    

 UHMW-PE 

1.22 - 1.52   

4.1 - 5.1   
 

 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   81 - 83 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 LME 30-DAYj   49.6 Prices Went Up  
  1.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 EXTRUSION FIBER   79 - 81 Prices Went Up  
  2.6 - 2.6 Prices Went Up  
 
 PROFILES   85 - 82 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 RANDOM COPOL          
 BLOW MOLDING   85 - 87 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 Prices Went Up  
 
 FILM   86 - 88 Prices Went Up  
  2.7 - 2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 INJECTION   88 - 91 Prices Went Up  
  2.8 Prices Went Up  
 
 IMPACT COPOL          
 MED IMP   96 - 98 Prices Went Up  
  3.1 - 3.2 Prices Went Up  
 
 HI IMP   98 - 100 Prices Went Up  
  3.2 Prices Went Up  
 

 POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR) 

  

  
 
 G-P CRYSTAL   61 - 67 Prices Went Down 
  2.3 - 2.5 Prices Went Down 
 
 HI HEAT   64 - 69 Prices Went Down 
  2.4 - 2.6 Prices Went Down 
 
 HIPS   70 - 76 Prices Went Down 
  2.6 - 2.8 Prices Went Down 
 
 SUPER HI IMP   77 - 84 Prices Went Down 
  2.9 - 3.1 Prices Went Down 
 
 FR   80 - 85 Prices Went Down 
  3.0 - 3.2 Prices Went Down 
 
 STRUCT FM (FR)   66 - 68     2.5    

 EPS 

  

  
 
 UNMODIFIED   89 - 92        
 MODIFIED   90 - 94     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   50 - 51 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 PIPE   47     NAd    
 FILM   55 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 COPOLYMER FLOORING   71 - 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   225 - 249 Prices Went Up  
  NAd    
 HEAT & COR RES   250 - 262 Prices Went Up  
  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..