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7/28/2017 | 2 MINUTE READ

New Weekly Feedstock and Resin Pricing Reports Launched

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PetroChemWire has expanded its offerings with newly launched weekly reports.

Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, PetroChemWire (PCW) has further added to its offered products and services, with some weekly pricing update reports on ethylene, propylene, PE, PVC, and recycled resins, with a weekly PP report also coming in the near future.

Executive editor and founder Kathy Hall launched a daily newsletter back in 2007 to serve the U.S. olefins and polymers markets by providing commodity chemical pricing and operations information. PCW grew from producing that single daily email report to producing five daily reports, four weekly reports, and several monthly reports available by email and on data platforms including GlobalView, Morningstar and Bloomberg. 

Hall has gracefully agreed to provide Plastics Technology with the new weekly reports so we can blog about the latest news in resin pricing and operations from time-to-time. Here are some key takeaways from the July 21 PE and PVC reports:

PE: Starting with PE contract news, PCW’s senior editor David Barry reported that some PE suppliers continued to invoice a 3¢/lb price hike for July sales, while others are aiming to implement such an increase in August. Differing from all others, one supplier indicated a postponement of the increase until August for L/LLDPE resins but was intent on implementing the 3¢/lb increase on HDPE in July.

Meanwhile, in the spot market, PCW reported firm prices in the midst of snug supply. Offgrade availability was scarce in the domestic secondary market, but demand was not characterized as robust. HDPE injection molding grades remained tight, yet a significant reversal was expected by early fourth quarter as new capacity is brought on stream. Currently, spot HDPE injection molding grades were being discussed at a 2-3¢/lb premium over HDPE blow molding grades.

In operations news, Formosa confirmed last week that its Point Comfort PE units had all resumed production, yet its force majeure was expected to remain in effect until July’s end.

PVC and Pipe Report: Senior Editor Donna Todd, reported that while PVC processors were expecting a resin price decrease in step with falling ethylene prices, a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) outage at Formosa’s larges VCM plant at Point Comfort, Texas, brought the company’s overall VCM operating rate to 50% of capacity.

Moreover, the shuttered unit was not expected to come back on stream for at least two weeks. The company said it would have enough PVC to supply domestic processors for August deliveries. PCW did report, however, that while some customers were told they would get their normal deliveries in August, others were told they would receive only 50-55%. Formosa sources told PCW that they were working off of VCM inventories and there were discussions of buying VCM from competitors.

Based on a 2.75¢/lb reduction in June ethylene prices and the expectation of a similar decline in July, PVC processors thought that resin prices ought to drop by 2¢/lb, with some seeking a 3¢/lb reduction. (June ethylene contracts settled at 30.5¢/lb, down 2.75¢/lb from May). This, while spot prices were trading at lows of 18.5-19¢/lb. June PVC contract prices settled flat—41-45¢/lb for pipe grades and 45-49¢/lb for general purpose grades. There was concern among buyers that the Formosa VCM drop in production would be used as leverage that VCM is tight, when it is not, according to PCW.

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