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TPE North American resin pricing, Oct. 19-23: PE steady; PP and PS higher

Polyethylene (PE) spot prices were steady last week, but buy-side interest was increasing as the market watched monomer and energy prices rise, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) and its reporting partner, The PetroChem Wire.

PlasticsToday Staff

October 27, 2009

2 Min Read
TPE North American resin pricing, Oct. 19-23: PE steady; PP and PS higher

Polyethylene (PE) spot prices were steady last week, but buy-side interest was increasing as the market watched monomer and energy prices rise, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) and its reporting partner, The PetroChem Wire. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) blowmold and injection grade offers remained in the high $0.40s/lb, as did linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film grades, while low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and HDPE film-grade offers stayed in the low $0.50s/lb.

Spot-market liquidity has generally been sluggish in October, according to traders reporting, but more buyers were seen returning to the market to cover short-term needs in the face of rising costs. Spot PE offers for the export market were also steady, but export interest waned. HDPE blowmold has been transacting in the low- to mid-$0.40s/lb range, with LLDPE film butene in the mid-$0.40s/lb. The spot-price stability that exists currently has been present throughout October. Spot prices dropped several cents at the end of September, with many grades crossing below $0.50/lb for the first time since June. In forward markets, the HDPE blowmolding curve was backward dated by $0.01/lb until January 2010, before moving to a half-cent/lb contango trend through October 2010. In the PE contract market, producers continued efforts to raise October pricing by $0.05/lb. Without an indication for where October ethylene contracts would settle, there was no agreement yet on October PE contracts.

Polypropylene (PP) spot prices started to move higher last week amid rising propylene monomer spot prices. Buyers had largely stepped away from the spot market earlier in October, as offers continued to move lower. After generic-prime homopolymer PP touched the high $0.40s/lb in the domestic market, participants said that supply has tightened for generic-prime and widespec materials, with their prices having since moved slightly higher. Last week, generic-prime railcars of homopolymer PP transacted in the mid $0.50s/lb range, while copolymer PP remained at about a $0.015/lb premium. That rebound follows a sell-off during the first half of October, which pushed homopolymer prices down from about $0.58/lb to around $0.54/lb. Spot homopolymer PP prices in September averaged $0.60/lb. Export prices for generic-prime homopolymer were discussed in the mid-to-high $0.40s/lb range on an FOB Houston basis, which is up from the low $0.40s/lb range earlier in October.

Polystyrene (PS) spot prices moved higher last week, rebounding from recent declines. Generic-prime railcars of general purpose (GPPS) were in the low-to-mid $0.60s/lb range, with high impact (HIPS) in the high $0.60s/lb to low $0.70s/lb range. Overall, prices were up about a penny. In the contract market, a producer has said it will seek to implement a $0.03/lb increase on all grades in November. —[email protected]

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