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TPE resin pricing Dec. 8-12: Tentative floors reached in PE and PP, PS pressured by imports

Spot polyethylene (PE) demand and prices rose a few cents last week according to trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE; www.theplasticsexchange.com), with brokers and distributors wading into a market whose prices are off 60% from their summer peak. TPE says the broader market acknowledgement that a floor has been reach in spot prices has prompted greater activity in the market. High-density blowmolding grades were available in the high $0.30’s/lb, with some injection grades priced slightly lower.

), with brokers and distributors wading into a market whose prices are off 60% from their summer peak. TPE says the broader market acknowledgement that a floor has been reach in spot prices has prompted greater activity in the market. High-density blowmolding grades were available in the high $0.30’s/lb, with some injection grades priced slightly lower. Linear low-density film grades were in the higher $0.30’s/lb cpp, but have now climbed into the lower $0.40’s/lb. Low-density film grades have “bounced” the most, according to TPE, rising from the low-to-mid $0.30’s/lb, back into the lower and mid $0.40’s/lb. In contract prices, December rates have fallen by $0.05/lb, with speculation that there might be more decreases on the table. In the export market, sharp discounts prompted several transactions to Mexico and South America.

Polypropylene (PP) trading was described as brisk with prices inching higher. Following a series of production cuts, TPE says only the most efficient reactors are currently operating with widespec availability extremely limited, forcing many to buy generic-prime PP. here too, the market’s understanding is that a floor has been reached in spot prices, enticing participants back into the market. While some offgrade PP material was still priced in the higher $0.20’s/lb, railcars of generic-prime homopolymer were last trading in the low-to-mid $0.30’s/lb, up a penny or two from the week earlier. Generic prime copolymer was priced at a typical a $0.02/lb premium to homopolymer resins. TPE reports that contract prices remained up in the air, awaiting resolution to polymer-grade propylene monomer contracts. There has been some export activity to Mexico in particular and Latin America in general, with several raffia deals concluded.

Polystyrene (PS) gave back the penny gain from last week, with the market experiencing some pressure from lower-priced imports. General-purpose spot materials were trading in the low $0.60’s/lb, with high-impact relatively scarce and priced in the upper $0.60’s to low $0.70’s/lb when seen. 

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