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PE and PVC prices fall again

Date:2016-10-17 16:38:02View:

North American selling prices for polyethylene and suspension PVC have continued their summer slides.

Since June 1, regional prices for high and linear low density PE are down an average of 8 cents per pound, according to buyers contacted recently by Plastics News, while prices for low density PE are down an average of 4 cents.

The HDPE and LLDPE slides were split between a drop of 6 cents in June and a smaller drop of 2 cents in July. LDPE prices fell an average of 4 cents per pound in June and were flat in July, buyers said.

HDPE/LLDPE prices now are down 14 cents per pound (15 percent) since May 1, after jumping 18 cents (24 percent) in the first three months of the year, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart.

In PVC, regional suspension PVC prices slipped an average of 3 cents per pound in June. That makes a total drop of 7 cents (8 percent) since May 1, after prices had surged an average of 10 cents (13 percent) in the first quarter.

Overly aggressive pricing earlier in the year — some of which was tied in to outages of ethylene feedstock — may have played a role in recent PE price declines, according to Mike Burns, a PE market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.

“There was an artificial [pricing] run-up in the first half of the year,” Burns said in a recent phones interview. “Exports are down, and [processors] haven’t been buying because they’re trying to get rid of high-priced pellets.”

Through April, U.S./Canadian HDPE sales showed a modest gain of about three percent, as a 7 percent gain in domestic sales was tempered by a drop of almost 14 percent in exports, according to the American Chemistry Council in Arlington, Va. Regional sales of LDPE fared better with 6 percent growth. Sales of LLDPE led the way with total sales growth of almost 12 percent.

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