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TPE resin pricing: N.A. sifts through Ike’s aftermath, September prices in limbo

After Gustav’s threats failed to fully materialize, Hurricane Ike’s foreboding presence led many processors to buy a spot truckloads of polyethylene (PE) as an inventory buffer, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE; and its partner The PetroChem Wire ( Spot PE trading picked up in general with steady-priced offers flowing and seeing interest.

). Spot PE trading picked up in general with steady-priced offers flowing and seeing interest. Spot prices moved lower in recent weeks, and processors now anticipate lower September contract prices on the basis of poor demand and large upstream inventories. High-weight molecular film grades are in the high $0.70’s to low $0.80’s/lb. Linear low-density film grade was steady, priced in the high $0.70’s to lower $0.80’s/lb. Low-density film grades were in the mid-to-high $0.80’s/lb, while high-density injection and blowmolding grades are priced in the mid-to-upper $0.70’s to $0.80’s/lb.
Spot polypropylene (PP) prices fell another $0.02-$0.03/lb even as refineries and resin producers shut down due to the hurricanes. Fresh railcars of generic prime PP were several cents lower, while homopolymer prices eased at least $0.02/lb, with trading between $0.76-$0.80/lb. Copolymer also fell $0.02/lb, trading around $0.80/lb. Offgrade railcar offers can be found, with prices reaching down to the low $0.70’s/lb.
Polystyrene (PS) prices were also softer, although spot volumes continued to be poor.  Spot prices eased due to softening benzene and energy prices as well as the negative overall sentiment, according to TPE. Railcars of good, offgrade general-purpose PS were in the low $0.90’s/lb, with high impact in the mid to high $0.90’s/lb. Several lots of off-color and transitional material were offered in the high $0.70’s to low $0.80’s/lb.

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