Plastics Technology

NOV 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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A combination of higher feedstock prices, strong demand and the impact of tariffs drove prices of PE, PS, PVC and PET upward at the end of the third quarter, though PP prices dropped slightly. Overall projections for this month and next were for flat pricing with potential for a slight uptick in the case of PVC, PET, and PP. These were the views last month of purchasing consultants from Resin Technology, Inc. (RTi), Fort Worth, Texas (rtiglobal.com); senior editors from Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW, petro- chemwire.com); and CEO Michael Greenberg of the Plastics Exchange in Chicago (theplasticsexchange.com). POLYETHYLENE PRICES UP, THEN FLAT Polyethylene prices moved up 3¢/lb in September, and suppliers were seeking additional 2-4¢/lb price hikes in October, though the latter may have no legs, according to Mike Burns, RTi's v.p. of PE markets, and PCW senior editor David Barry. Said Burns, "The 3¢/lb implemented was a demand-driven increase, with tariffs on China having an impact on any com- pany that ships out anything using stretch-wrap film, garbage and grocery bags, etc." He noted that big-box retail stores cannot call China for film products, as that country cannot compete without cheap U.S. resin. As a result, many domestic processors of PE film— accounting for nearly 65% of the PE market—issued price increases of 4%, citing both strong demand and higher feedstock (ethylene) prices. "I expect this demand to continue through the rest of the year—many large processors are out- sourcing," he commented. Both Burns and Barry ventured that PE prices for the remainder of the year would be flat. Said Barry, "I don't believe PE supplier inventories will be sufficiently reduced, while processors also aim to Higher Prices for Commodity Resins, Except PP Higher feedstock prices and strong demand drive price hikes for PE, PS, PVC and PET. By Lilli Manolis Sherman Senior Editor manage inventories in the last two months of the year. And the market fundamentals are not there to support further increases. The exception might be if Brent crude oil rose up to $90/barrel from $80/bbl." Burns saw potential for processors negotiating lower PE contract prices as they move into 2019. The Plastics Exchange's Greenberg saw above-average activity and higher prices in the spot PE market last month—HDPE injection grades rose 1.5¢/lb and L/LLDPE film grades moved about 1¢ higher by the first week of October. He noted that the surge of buying had begun several weeks previously due to deeply discounted prices. "Even as the lowest prime offers had been scooped up, buyers were not deterred by fresh offers priced a penny or two higher." PP PRICES DOWN, THEN FLAT? Polypropylene prices dropped 1¢/lb in September, in step with propylene monomer, and expectations for October through Polyethylene Price Trends HDPE Injection SEPT OCT HDPE Blow Molding SEPT OCT HDPE HMW SEPT OCT LDPE SEPT OCT LLDPE Butene SEPT OCT Market Prices Effective Mid-October 2018 Resin Grade ¢/lb POLYETHYLENE (railcar) LDPE, LINER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101-103 LLDPE BUTENE, FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84-86 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 NOVEMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 HDPE, G-P INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106-108 HDPE, BLOW MOLDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96-98 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 NOVEMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 HDPE, HMW FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113-115 POLYPROPYLENE (railcar) G-P HOMOPOLYMER, INJECTION . . . . . . . . . . . 92-94 NYMEX 'FINANCIAL' FUTURES . . . . . . . . . . . . 72.13 NOVEMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 IMPACT COPOLYMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94-96 POLYST YRENE (railcar) G-P CRYSTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108-110 HIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114-116 PVC RESIN (railcar) G-P HOMOPOLYMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83-85 PIPE GR ADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82-84 PET (truckload) U.S. BOT TLE GR ADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78-82 3¢/lb 3¢/lb 3¢/lb 3¢/lb 3¢/lb @plastechmag 55 Plastics Technology YO U R B U S I N E S S Resin Pricing Analy sis

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