Polyethylene (PE) spot trading was relatively quiet last week as participants digested the most recent round of producer price increase initiatives, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE), and its reporting partner, the PetroChem Wire. In the contract market, several producers announced the intention to increase PE prices by $0.03/lb in December. This is in addition to the $0.04/lb increase they sought in September, and a $0.05/lb increase that was originally put forward in October, but has been pushed to November. Domestic spot prices were relatively steady, with generic-prime railcars of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) blowmold and injection grades discussed in the low $0.50s/lb. Participants noted that supplies of injection grades were fairly snug at the moment. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film butene continued to trade at a $0.01-$0.015 premium, while generic-prime high molecular weight HDPE film railcars were discussed in the mid $0.50s/lb. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film was in the high $0.50s/lb range, with trading generally thin as participants waited to see if the most recent increase initiatives would be implemented. Exports continued to move from the Gulf coast last week, but not at the same rate as was seen earlier this fall. HDPE blowmold transacted in an auction this week at FOB Houston $0.465/lb for November loading and $0.452/lb for December loading. In general, bulk railcars have traded in the mid-to-high $0.50s/lb range on an FOB Houston basis.
Polypropylene (PP) spot price ideas were steady-to-higher last week, and participants noted that trading was relatively thin. Producers had announced prices increase initiatives of $0.03-$0.05/lb for November implementation, but for much of the week, participants waited to see where polymer-grade propylene would settle before agreeing to a November PP contract price. In the spot market, traders said there was some limited activity last week, with purchases largely relegated to restocking of inventories after traders and processors reduced purchases in October amid falling prices. By and large, however, participants remained on the sidelines in the spot market, as generic-prime railcars of homopolymer PP settled in the mid-to-high $0.50s/lb, with copolymer PP at a $0.015 premium. Spot prices are up to the high $0.40s to low $0.50s/lb range reached in the middle of October. Export interest was also thin last week, with prices discussed in the high $0.40s to low $0.50s/lb range on an FOB Houston basis.
Polystyrene (PS) spot prices were higher last week, with generic-prime general purpose (GPPS) in the mid $0.60s/lb range, and high impact (HIPS) settled in the high $0.60s to low $0.70s/lb, as prices climbed by about $0.02/lb. In the contract market, participants discussed a $0.03/lb producer increase initiative in November. - [email protected]