After a brief drop, polyethylene (PE) prices stabilized last week, and at least one producer will seek a $0.07/lb price increase on Dec. 31, according to spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (www.theplasticsexchange.com) and its reporting partner The PetroChem Wire (www.thepetrochemwire.com). That bid for a price increase follows a $0.20/lb drop in November contracts after they fell by $0.11/lb in October and $0.07/lb in September. TPE also took note that weights for current railcar shipments were lighter, weighing in at 180,000 to 185,000 lb, compared to 205,000 to 210,000 lb as the market was falling. As the premiums between butene, hexene, octane, and metallocene linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) shrink, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) blowmolding and injection grades, as well as LLDPE film and injection grades, ended the week priced in the mid $0.30’s/lb. HDPE and LDPE film grades ended in the high $0.30’s to low $0.40’s/lb. TPE also reports that several large-volume export deals were completed, largely targeting Latin America and Mexico, with some exports to Asia also seen.
Polypropylene (PP) spot prices were steady as participants waited for December propylene monomer contracts to settle. TPE reports that some railcars were still trading in the lower $0.20’s/lb, although much of that material was gone by the end of the week. Spot homopolymer and copolymer were offered in the mid $0.20’s to mid $0.30’s/lb, depending on quality—dramatically down from a peak near $1.00/lb in July. Here too, producers have indicated they will seek to increase prices, lifting contracts by $0.05 to $0.06/lb on January 1. The increase would follow a $0.30/lb drop in November PP contracts.
Polystyrene (PS) prices were mostly steady, after some increase in spot supplies, with domestic railcars and packaged imported goods offered to the market. General-purpose PS was priced in the low to mid $0.60’s/lb, with high-impact grades priced in the upper $0.60’s to lower $0.70’s/lb.