Polyethylene (PE) trading volume was increasing as prices moved higher last week, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE; www.theplasticsexchange.com). Activity slowed with the Thanksgiving holiday, and overall, producers held onto inventories and processors resisted proposed price increases. Although theyve fueled the market for most of 2007, export deals have slowed with higher producer export asking prices.
In polypropylene (PP), trading volume was increasing with prices moving higher, thanks in part to record high crude oil prices, which impact propylene monomer. TPE reports that a weak dollar has helped to nearly double PP exports, but high prices have negatively impacted domestic demand. Propylene prices remain on the rise, with $0.05-$0.06/lb in price increases on a base in the mid-$0.50s/lb nominated for December contracts.
Polystyrene (PS) trading volume was average with relatively steady prices. TPE found spot high-impact PS cars available in the higher $0.70s/lb, with general-purpose PS coming in at the mid-$0.70s/lb. In spite of widespread PS-production consolidation, TPE reports that the pricing-advantage balance has not yet tipped in favor of producers.