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November 30, 1999

1 Min Read
The Plastics Exchange week in review

Resin spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE; Chicago) reports that the volume of trading last week for polyethylene (PE) was good while prices were higher (for more detailed information, including historical charts, go to www.theplasticsexchange.com). TPE said poor domestic demand for PE and rail congestion in Houston, which affected exports, made the market slower. Prices were up a penny, however, as higher international PE prices have kept export demand high. TPE noted that a relative rarity occurred, with a major publisher of market indices indicating a $0.03/lb price increase for high-density PE resin and suggested $.06/lb increase for low-density PE and linear low-density PE film grade resins for February contracts. Such increases typically aren’t split.

The two-week-old Canadian rail strike has restricted shipments of film-grade resins, which has further tightened the market, according to TPE, but spot ethylene prices were lower, ending the week at $0.355/lb.

In polypropylene (PP), TPE reports that producers locked in the $0.05/lb increase, but the spot market has struggled, with average volume and prices steady to weak. The availability spot prime cars could make it difficult for producers to raise March contract prices $0.05/lb or enforce the recently issued $0.04/lb increase. Prices are into the $0.50’s, with the chance to cross the $0.60/lb barrier if increases stick.

In polystyrene (PS), TPE reported poor volume and steady prices, adding that it didn’t see many spot PS trades for the week. Prices were steady, with good offgrade high-impact PS in the higher $0.60’s, and general-purpose PS just below.

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