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The Plastics Exchange Week in Review 6289

January 18, 2008

1 Min Read
The Plastics Exchange Week in Review

Trading volume and prices for polyethylene (PE) at spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE; www.theplasticsexchange.com), rose last week, with the material having rallied $0.03/lb since the start of the year. TPE reports that asking prices for generic prime and widespec railcars have been sharply higher, and in terms of inventory and availability, supplies of prime, film-grade low-density and linear low-density PE are particularly scarce. High spot prices in Europe and the weak dollar continue to fuel the export market.

In polypropylene (PP) trading, volume and prices were also up, with the market rising $0.015/lb in the last week and $0.025/lb since the start of ’08. Key feedstock, polymer-grade propylene, continues to rise, hitting $0.625/lb last week, and pinching producer margins. High propylene, and therefore PP, costs have dampened demand for the resin, leaving producers with large inventories, in spite of some shutdowns.

Polystyrene (PS) trading volume was good with steady prices. Generic-prime railcars are hard to come by, but there is an ample supply of good, offgrade PS. Through the first half of January, spot prices are up $0.015/lb. The market continues to rationalize, with small PS producer American Polystyrene announcing it would shutdown. Key PS feedstock benzene has settled some, down 20% from its historic peak, but it remains historically high and continues to impact resin usage.

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