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Resin Price Report: Spot PE Flat, PP Drops Two More Cents

Buyers eye significant decrease in PP contract prices.


April 25, 2024

3 Min Read
plastic resin
Irina Vodneva/iStock via Getty Images

Spot Prime polyethylene (PE) prices stayed flat for a second week in a row while Prime polypropylene (PP) peeled off a couple more pennies, as feedstock monomer costs continued to decline, according to the Market Update from the PlasticsExchange.

PE regained its position as the more active resin market, but not by much compared with PP, which remained quite busy in its own right, reports the resin clearinghouse. It seems unlikely that PE producers will be able to implement any of their mostly $0.03/lb increase that is currently on the table for April.

Now that the polymer-grade propylene (PGP) rally has come undone, PP contracts will see a significant $0.11 to 0.13/lb decrease based on monomer cost relief.

PE demand slows, with no effect on prices.

The PE market eased a bit the week of April 15 from the fast trading pace seen in the past few weeks, writes the PlasticsExchange. While demand has slowed some, it wasn’t enough to influence Prime pricing at the resin clearinghouse, which held steady for a second straight week. Film-grade resins led the way, with linear-low-density (LLD) PE the biggest mover. Demand for low-density (LD) PE appears to have finally awoken after a little slumber, and there was a small, but decent, showing for high-density (HD) PE for blow mold and injection, as well.

Resellers offered several small groups of prime PE railcars from their forecasted supply, notes the PlasticsExchange. Otherwise, few spot Prime cars were available, as the export market continued to soak up discretionary pounds.

In general, processors appear to be amply supplied.

Third flat month in a row for PE contracts.

The PlasticsExchange reports seeing fairly normal order flow, as opposed to the type of activity that signifies either inventory building or de-stocking. “We expect to see PE contracts roll flat for the third month in a row, which would leave them up $0.03/lb this year from the successful January increase. Polypropylene had an active trading week, as demand was strong and supply began to open up at lower prices, enabling more transactions,” writes the PlasticsExchange in its Market Update.

Sellers have been willing to unload material, some at a loss, as lower-cost replacement material begins making its way into the market. Ready-to-ship packaged truckloads were more popular than fresh railcars with processors who needed urgent shipments to tide them over.

PP prices back to where they started the year.

Completed PP volumes at the PlasticsExchange last week hit the highest mark since the first week of March, which was the peak of the first quarter rally. PP prices eased another $0.02/lb, completely wiping away the spot increases achieved in early 2023. At the end of this past week, benchmark Prime homo-polymer (Ho) PP prices sat at the same level as they did on the first day of this year, said the PlasticsExchange. HoPP was the main mover last week, with a flurry of 12 and 35 melt Prime Raffia selling to both domestic and Mexican clients. Prime copolymer (Co) PP and off-grade HoPP had respectable volumes, as well, though CoPP dealings were limited by well-priced availability.

Read the full Market Update on the PlasticsExchange website.

Visit the PlasticsExchange at NPE2024 in booth S29027, where it will introduce its new market intelligence platform. NPE is at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, from May 6 to 10.

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