TPE N.A. resin pricing Jan. 26-30: PE and PP finish January rising, PS falls

February 03, 2009

Tightening supplies and higher feedstocks lifted polyethylene (PE) spot prices, according to The Plastics Exchange (TPE) and its reporting partner The PetroChem Wire. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film both finished last week 1.5 cents/lb higher, with other grades up about a half a cent. HDPE film traded in the low $0.40s/lb, while LLDPE film, HDPE blowmolding, HDPE injection, and LLDPE injection were available in the high $0.30s to low $0.40s/lb. TPE reports that overall for January, spot prices rose $0.02 to $0.03/lb. Contract discussions finished last week unresolved, with some reports that the $0.07/lb increase proposed for January by producers was implemented. In some instances where contracts were left unchanged for January, the proposed $0.07/lb was extended to February. Elsewhere, some producers are seeking a $0.05/lb increase for February PE, with one looking to increase the price of high-molecular weight HDPE film by an additional $0.03/lb in March. Film grades are tight due to producer shutdowns, and by the end of last week, some offers were reflecting a $0.07/lb increase from January spot levels for February delivery. TPE reports that traders continued to inquire after PE for export to Mexico and Latin America, particularly film grades.

Polypropylene (PP) prices also rose on higher monomer prices and tighter supply, with spot prices about a half-cent above the week prior’s levels. Homopolymer PP was in the low-to-mid $0.30s/lb range, while copolymer PP was priced at a $0.02/lb premium to that. Overall, spot prices were up about a half cent since the start of January. January contract prices for PP rose about $0.02/lb, and producers have proposed increases of $0.06 to $0.08/lb for February. PP exports continue to find homes in Latin America, including Mexico, with U.S. material competitively priced. Polymerupdate reports that traders have also been inquiring for PP to export to China.

Spot polystyrene (PS) prices finished last week lower, dropping an average of $0.02/lb from last Friday. Over the course of January, spot PS prices shed a total of $0.07/lb. General-purpose PS ended the week about a penny lower, trading in the low $0.50s/lb, while high-impact PS was in the high $0.50s to low $0.60s/lb.—[email protected] 


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