Sponsored By

June 6, 2008

2 Min Read
TPE resin pricing: PE, PP, and PS all higher

Accepting a $0.01/lb price increase mostly because a $0.05/lb price increase was looming in June, buyers of polyethylene (PE) on The Plastics Exchange (TPE) were active according to CEO Michael Greenberg. PE prices saw an average gain of $0.03/lb during May, with the higher prices affecting demand as recent spot transactions have only been for one and two railcar lots. In terms of availability, Greenberg reports that high-density polyethylene (HDPE) injection grades and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film grades are tight. High molecular weight film grades were available, but this could be a reflection of bag bans. In the export market, South American demand is strong, but European interest has dimmed, with logistics issues frustrating European traders, according to Greenberg.

In polypropylene (PP), spot prices added $0.015/lb in the final week of May, bringing the full-month increase to $0.05/lb. Greenberg says that domestically the high prices have affected demand, but the spot market has been active since further contract increases loom. June doesn’t appear to offer a respite in the monomer or the polymer, with prices for June contracts looking to add $0.05 to $0.08/lb. High propylene costs have led producers to limit production, which has further constricted supply. Greenberg points out that processors who can run wide-spec, offgrade, or regrind PP are seeing slightly better prices, but even in these lower-end materials supplies are becoming tight. Export opportunities are seen in Latin America, with some Asian demand, but no European interest.

After holding their ground for the first half of the month, spot polystyrene (PS) prices rose around $0.035/lb over the second half of May with a $0.015/lb increase in its last week. Benzene remains the driver, hitting $4.35/gallon according to The PetroChem Wire (http://www.petrochemwire.com), before dropping to around $4.25. For June, general-purpose polystyrene has nominated a $0.04/lb increase, with high-impact PS facing a $0.06/lb increase. Greenberg says winnowing of U.S. PS production to just three players has created a market that can react quickly to shifts in supply and demand, giving suppliers pricing leverage.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like