TPE resin pricing: PE, PP fall; PS in short supply

October 13, 2008

After a brief Ike-related spike, spot polyethylene (PE) prices resumed their slide, dropping $0.02/lb according to spot polymer trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE; TPE and partner The PetroChem Wire report that the return of many plants in the gulf to full production helped fuel the slide, as well as the drop in oil and gas prices. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) injection and blowmolding, as well as linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film, were in the high $0.70’s/lb. High molecular-weight polyethylene film grades remain tight, with some offgrade non-filmable grades in the low $0.70’s/lb. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film was scarce, according to TPE, with available material offered in the mid $0.80’s/lb. LDPE injection was priced in the low $0.80’s/lb. Looking forward, TPE says many producers have lowered prices $0.07/lb for September contracts, with some announcing plans to add a $0.07/lb increase onto October contracts.

TPE reports that overall spot polypropylene (PP) trading was relatively slow as average prices fell $0.02/lb. TPE says price decreases have been confirmed between $0.15 to $0.20/lb, but not all participants have verified those levels. Generic prime homopolymer PP traded on the lower side of the mid $0.70’s/lb, with offgrade offers significantly lower. Copolymer PP has maintained a $0.02/lb premium.

The spot polystyrene (PS) market has been plagued by limited spot supplies and poor demand, according to TPE. The exchange adds that domestic railcar offerings have been infrequent, with imports from Asia and India filling the gap and prices steady.

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