Stronger volume and steady prices were found in polyethylene (PE) trading according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE; www.theplasticsexchange.com). PE prices had risen $0.03/lb over the first part of the year, but have since stabilized, with larger processors resisting producers push for a $0.06/lb price increase. Spot ethylene prices eased, but for the year, they remain up $0.025-$0.033/lb.
Polypropylene (PP) exhibited good trading volume and steady prices after rising $0.02-$0.03/lb earlier in the month. PP producers would like to implement a $0.06/lb increase for January, but market conditions will likely push that number lower. An ample supply of widespec railcars remains present, with prices in the mid-to-high $0.60s/lb. TPE anticipates that producers should be able to increase January resin contracts by $0.02/lb, on average.
In polystyrene (PS), good volume and steady prices were seen, with a greater level of liquidity than was expected. January spot prices are up $0.02/lb over December, with prime feedstock benzene stable at around $3.50/gallon. Producers attempts at a price increase of $0.04/lb have fallen short, with the average gain coming in at $0.02/lb.