The spot resin market saw a steady stream of activity among processors and suppliers the first week of April. As the second quarter of the year began, the folks at the PlasticsExchange (Chicago) reported seeing a good flurry of buying as well as significant inquiries about price points and market direction. Buyers of both polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) have warmed to the market level and demand has started springing back, writes the PlasticsExchange in its Market Update.
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In April, PE producers are pushing to implement the second half of their $0.06/lb increase that was split in March. After three months of hefty cost-push price increases, PP contracts will be pressured to decline in April as PGP prices erode; spot PGP fell a penny more to $0.46/lb, landing about $0.08/lb from its March peak
PE products recovered from the previous week’s losses, mostly regaining the penny they had shed. Certain resins, such as HDPE injection, remained extremely snug. With nearly a complete absence of surplus material, HDPE injection prices have surged starting late last year. Other grades, such as LDPE Clarity, have remained tight, maintaining the elevated level, but not advancing further. LLDPE for film and injection are moderately available.
There was a good amount of activity in the PP market: Transacted volumes improved, while spot prices stayed relatively flat with a weak undertone. The sentiment was influenced by easing monomer costs, writes the PlasticsExchange. The market seemed to have found some support last week, as demand improved from buyers in need, making a good dent in resellers’ inventories. Certain grades of CoPP, such as Random Clarified and No Break, have become snug and have garnered good premiums. HoPP resins are more accessible and prices have been lingering at a lower level. With feedstock costs set to decline, PP processors, who are in the midst of passing through their higher first-quarter costs downstream, could run into challenges.
Read the full Market Update on the PlasticsExchange website.