Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

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A combination of lower feedstock prices, in some cases softer domestic and global demand, and generally improved supply/ demand balance have been key drivers in keeping prices steady for PE and PVC and reducing PS prices. Pressure from feedstock prices and resin supply tightness were expected to drive prices of PP and PET upward. These were the views last month of purchasing consultants 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). Prices Flat for PE, PVC; Down for PS; Up for PP, PET Contrary feedstock and demand trends lead to divergent pricing behavior. By Lilli Manolis Sherman Senior Editor PE PRICES FLAT Polyethylene prices appeared to have remained steady in July, though suppliers were still trying to implement a delayed 3¢/lb hike. Mike Burns, RTi's v.p. of PE markets, noted that this intent persisted despite contrary market drivers such as lower global PE prices, high domestic inventories, soft global demand, and steady or lower oil prices. Burns ventured that lower export prices and soft global demand would delay if not negate further price increases in August and September. As for fourth- quarter pricing, he advised keeping an eye on oil price trends: "Lower oil prices and soft global demand may end the past year's continued price increases. Weather will be the last driver heading into this quarter." Meanwhile, spot ethylene monomer prices slipped back below 15¢/ lb—below the 2017 low. PCW reported PE spot prices as flat to lower, noting that availability continued to improve for most grades, except for HDPE blow molding and HMWPE film resins, which were balanced to tight. Greenberg reported very active spot PE trading with steady prices and noted, "Producers have sometimes been vocal in their attempt to finally implement their old 3¢/lb increase, but their plentiful downgraded prime offers suggest otherwise. There is good overall PE availability, and the new capacity has generally exceeded demand." PP PRICES FLAT TO HIGHER Polypropylene prices in July held even from June, in step with monomer contracts. Prices in August were likely to be flat to Polyethylene Price Trends HDPE Injection JULY AUG HDPE Blow Molding JULY AUG HDPE HMW JULY AUG LDPE JULY AUG LLDPE Butene JULY AUG Market Prices Effective Mid-August 2018 Resin Grade ¢/lb POLYETHYLENE (railcar) LDPE, LINER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101-103 LLDPE BUTENE, FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84-86 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 SEPTEMBER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 HDPE, G-P INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103-105 HDPE, BLOW MOLDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93-95 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 SEPTEMBER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 HDPE, HMW FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110-112 POLYPROPYLENE (railcar) G-P HOMOPOLYMER, INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . 91-93 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 SEPTEMBER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 IMPACT COPOLYMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93-95 POLYST YRENE (railcar) G-P CRYSTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106-108 HIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112-114 PVC RESIN (railcar) G-P HOMOPOLYMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83-85 PIPE GR ADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82-84 PET (truckload) U.S. BOT TLE GR ADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76-78 78 SEPTEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com YO U R B U S I N E S S Resin Pricing Analy sis

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