Plastics Technology

AUG 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Lower feedstock prices and generally more balanced supply and demand served to stabilize prices of PE, PS and PVC. In contrast, upward pressure from feedstock costs and stronger domestic and/or global demand resulted in further increases in PP and PET prices. However, the month of June brought some surprises in the price trajectory of nearly all of these five resins, and the potential "trade war" issue loomed over nearly all. These were the views last month of purchasing consul- tants from Resin Technology, Inc. (RTi), Fort Worth, Texas (rtiglobal.com); CEO Michael Greenberg of the Plastics Exchange in Chicago (theplasticsexchange.com); and Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW, petrochemwire.com). PE PRICES FLAT Polyethylene prices remained flat in June, despite what was expected to have been a "slam-dunk" 3¢/lb price hike. PCW reported in late June that ExxonMobil Chemical, which led the move, reiterated its intent to increase June PE tabs by 3¢ and announced an additional 5¢/lb for July 1 on certain ethylene-octene and EVA copolymers. But come July 1, Nova Chemical, CP Chem and Formosa pulled back, according to Mike Burns, RTi's v.p. of PE markets. PCW and The Plastics Exchange's Greenberg reported similar outcomes, noting that flat contract prices were in line with spot-market prices. Greenberg noted, "Meanwhile, North American PE suppliers still enjoy a major feedstock cost advantage to facilitate exports, which is how they plan to move the bulk of all this new PE production that seems to be backing up. Also, the whole tariff situation has yet to resolve, maintaining a level of uncertainty, and not just with China." RTi's Burns added that it's simply a better deal for suppliers to push exports right now—with 65% of exports currently going to Latin America. He also noted Prices Up for PP & PET; Flat for PE, PS, PVC The upward trend for PP and PET continued, but at least PP prices likely have peaked. By Lilli Manolis Sherman Senior Editor that domestic LDPE is still tight, HDPE is snug globally, and he predicted "firm PE prices through September." PCW characterized domestic PE demand as healthy and noted that some processors were opting to carry additional inventory as a hedge against hurricane-related disruptions. PCW also noted there were reports that tight supply of catalysts and comonomers butene and hexene could restrict PE output, but no significant supply impacts were confirmed by anyone. PP PRICES UP Polypropylene prices moved up 8¢/lb in June, following May's 7¢/ lb hikes, though this time the increase was penny-for-penny in step with propylene monomer contract increases, with no margin expansion added by suppliers. "I think margin expansions have quieted down for the near term," said Scott Newell, RTi's vp of PP Polyethylene Price Trends HDPE Injection JUNE JULY HDPE Blow Molding JUNE JULY HDPE HMW JUNE JULY LDPE JUNE JULY LLDPE Butene JUNE JULY Market Prices Effective Mid-July 2018 Resin Grade ¢/lb POLYETHYLENE (railcar) LDPE, LINER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101-103 LLDPE BUTENE, FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84-86 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 AUGUST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 HDPE, G-P INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103-105 HDPE, BLOW MOLDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93-95 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 AUGUST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 HDPE, HMW FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110-112 POLYPROPYLENE (railcar) G-P HOMOPOLYMER, INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . 91-93 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 AUGUST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 IMPACT COPOLYMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93-95 POLYST YRENE (railcar) G-P CRYSTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109-111 HIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115-117 PVC RESIN (railcar) G-P HOMOPOLYMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83-85 PIPE GR ADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82-84 PET (truckload) U.S. BOT TLE GR ADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77-78 54 AUGUST 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com YO U R B U S I N E S S Resin Pricing Analy sis

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