Polyethylene (PE) spot prices were steady last week, with some increased interest as the end of the month neared, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) and its reporting partner, PetroChem Wire. April contract prices remained roughly flat from March, with producers failing to secure the $0.05/lb increase they originally sought. By the middle of last week, several producers indicated they would work to boost PE prices by $0.03/lb in May, with one producer saying it would seek another $0.02/lb increase in June. Spot prices were steady throughout the week, with generic-prime railcars of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) blowmold and injection grades in the high $0.30s/lb to low $0.40s/lb. High molecular weight HDPE film was in the mid $0.40s/lb, with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film in the high $0.40s/lb and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) film in the low $0.40s/lb. Export interest waned early in the week before swinging back, with most inquiries coming from Asia.
Polypropylene (PP) spot prices were roughly unchanged last week, but TPE notes that spot trading was active as market participants reacted to lean inventories and a jump in propylene monomer prices. Some producers have proposed a $0.03/lb increase for PP contracts effective May 1 after keeping April prices flat. Spot prices remained in the high $0.30s/lb for domestic railcars of generic-prime homopolymer. Bagged material in Houston warehouses was in the low $0.40s/lb, with copolymer prices about 1.5 cents higher. Exporters actively sought material, with most destined for Asia.
Polystyrene (PS) prices were unchanged last week, with general-purpose PS in the high $0.40s/lb to low $0.50s/lb. High-impact PS was priced in the low-to-mid $0.50s/lb. TPE’s spot-trading floor had about 700,000 lb of high-impact PS offered last week, including roughly 45,000 lb of general-purpose PS. —[email protected]