Polyethylene (PE) trading activity and prices increased last week, according to spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) and its reporting partner The Petrochem Wire. As January contracts closed, a range or prices were reported, from flat, to increases of $0.03 and $0.07/lb. Producers that didn’t achieve the full $0.07/lb increase for January are looking to tack it on in February. Market wide, producers are seeking a $0.05/lb increase for February and $0.03/lb to $0.06/lb increases in March. Supplies of all grades of PE were tight, with high-molecular-weight high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film in particularly short supply, and up about $0.03/lb, trading in the mid-high $0.40s/lb. HDPE blowmold and injection grades, as well as linear low-density LLDPE Butene film, all rose $0.02-$0.03/lb, settling in the lower-mid $0.40s/lb. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) clarity was also about $0.03/lb to trade in the mid-high $0.40s/lb. Export interest remained steady from South America and Mexico, while Asian demand has resurfaced.
Increases in monomer prices, as well as tight supply, pushed polypropylene (PP) prices higher. February contracts are still being negotiated, with producers seeking $0.06 and $0.08/lb increases this month. January contracts finished up around $0.02/lb in line with the increase in polymer-grade propylene monomer. Spot prices moved about $0.02/lb higher, with homopolymer PP in the mid $0.30s/lb and copolymer PP about $0.02/lb above that. Export interest continued, although the pace slowed compared to the end of January. Most of the inquiries are from traders selling into Mexico and Latin America.
TPE described the spot polystyrene (PS) market as quiet with material quite scarce and offers high. Spot prices held steady, with general-purpose PS in the low $0.50s/lb and high-impact PS in the high $0.50s to low $0.60s/lb. TPE saw few PS spot offers last week, finishing with about 200,000 lb of HIPS and GPPS in the latter half. —[email protected]