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PP, PE, PVC prices head up again. (Pricing Update).

Polyolefin and vinyl resin producers are not finished with their efforts to regain healthier profit levels. PVC producers have been particularly aggressive, issuing their fifth price increase of the year, while PE and PP producers are working on their third increases.

PP price hike under way

The first polypropylene price hike of 2002 finally took hold in April, leaving spot-market buyers paying 5cents/lb more than at the start of the year, and contract buyers with a 4cents increase. A second round of widely issued price hikes of 3cents/lb was being implemented last month. Suppliers were expecting to get 2cents out of that hike.

A third round of increases has been issued by all key suppliers. They were slated to take effect June 1. Most suppliers, such as Basell, BP, Phillips Sumika, AtoFina, and Huntsman, announced 3cents/lb increases. Dow Plastics posted a 4cents/hike, while Formosa lifted tabs 3cents for homopolymer and 4cents for copolymers. Sunoco issued a 6cents increase, of which 3cents is to take effect June 1 and the other 3cents is a TVA (temporary voluntary allowance) to be implemented at a later date.

Contributing factors: Polypropylene suppliers have been determined in their efforts to raise sunken profit margins. They are still contending with rising monomer prices, which went up 1.75cents/lb in April. Another 2-3cents/lb was anticipated in May. Meanwhile, polymer demand is fairly strong: Year-to-date growth in domestic demand is estimated at 6-7%, though some industry sources say a big part of that may be processors' inventory replenishment.

Suppliers are keeping own inventory levels lean at around 35 days--45 days is more typical--partly by shutting down large amounts of capacity. The most recent announcement in this vein comes from Sunoco Chemicals, which plans to permanently shutter a 200-million-lb PP unit at LaPorte, Texas, in the third quarter.

PE prices move up

Polyethylene prices moved up another 2cents/lb on average in April. Following on the 3cents/lb hike implemented in March, the latest upcharge boosts PE resin tabs a total of 5cents/lb since January. A third round of price hikes of 35cents/lb, originally announced for May 1, was still on the table at press time last month.

Contributing factors: Suppliers are intent on restoring profitability while under pressure from higher energy and monomer costs. Demand for PE resin has been improving, which some attribute to inventory restocking along with a modest uptick in the economy.

PVC up another 2cents

Two previously announced PVC resin hikes of 2cents/lb each, originally scheduled for January and February, took hold without protest in March and April. A third 2cents increase was taking effect in mid-May. A fourth 2cents increase, announced for May 1, is still on the table, And a fifth increase--this time for 4cents/lb--was announced for June 1. That unusually large jump would bring the total to 12cents since the first of the year.

Contributing factors: Prevailing sentiment in early May, from both resin producers and processors, is that much of the price surge may not be real demand, but restocking the distribution chain after a prolonged period of inventory draw-down. Many processors say March was their busiest single month ever. "Our first quarter was through the roof," reports the resin buyer for one large vinyl siding producer, "but I think April will show it was for building inventory." However, some large pipe processors say a lot of their pipe orders are going straight to job sites. Only the telecom wire and cable market remains in the doldrums.

As a result of this sudden upswing in purchasing, some resin producers are setting new terms, such as requiring orders by the 15th of the month, and are even trimming orders by 10-20% when they are shipped.

Second PS hike in place

Polystyrene resin producers said that the second 3[Cents] price hike of the year went through smoothly in mid-May.

Contributing factors: PS resin sales in the first quarter rose 9% over the year earlier, with demand for HIPS up 13% and demand for crystal up 5%, according to one large resin producer. May is typically the best month for food-packaging and food-service demand. Meanwhile, styrene monomer was extremely tight in March. It loosened in April and then showed signs of tightening again in May, when monomer producers proposed a 4cents increase.
Market Prices Effective Mid-May (a)

RESIN GRADE (b) cents/LB cents/CU IN (c)

ABS
 MED IMPACT 70-80 2.7-3.0
 HI IMPACT 82-88 3.0-3.3
 X-HI IMPACT 92-95 3.4-3.5
 HI HEAT 102-110 3.8-4.1
 PIPE 68-72 2.5-2.6
 SHEET 77-80 2.8-2.9
 TRANSPARENT 150-160 5.8-6.2
 FITTINGS 78-82 2.9-3.0
 PLATING 95-105 3.5-3.9
 FLAME RET 118-129 5.2-5.7
 STRUCT FM 83-97 3.6-4.3
 10% GLASS 130-150 5.1-6.0
 30% GLASS 126-146 5.8-6.7
 ABS/PC ALLOY 135-140 5.5-5.8
 ABS/PVC ALLOY 130-135 5.8-6.1
 ABS/NYLON ALLOY 167-189 6.3-7.2

ACETAL
 HOMOPOL 130-147 6.7-7.3
 20% GLASS 160-220 9.0-12.4
 COPOLYMER 133-137 6.8-7.0
 25% GLASS 160-215 9.2-12.3

ACRYLIC
 G-P 72-102 3.0-4.3
 IMPACT 130-191 5.4-7.9

ACRYLONI-
TRILE COPOL
 EXTRUSION 101-116 4.0-4.6
 INJECTION 120-135 4.8-5.4

ALKYD 65-74 4.9-5.5

CELLULOSICS
 ACETATE 187 8.6
 CAB 184 7.9
 CAP 184 7.9

DAP (G-P) 251-497 16.3-34.7

EPOXY
 G-P RESIN 116-126 NA (d)
 COMPOUNDS
 C/B/T (e) 123-166 9.4-12.9
 R/C/D (f) 208-271 15.3-20.1
 SEMICONDUCTOR
 NEVOLAC 193-228 13.1-15.9
 ANHYDRIDE 188-268 13.9-19.2

EVA
 INJECTION 60-95 2.4-4.0
 FILM EXTRU 55-87 2.4-2.7

EVOH 265 11.3

FLUORO-
POLYMER
 CTFE 4500 346.6
 ECTEE 1400-1600 108.3-123.8
 ETFE 1100-1600 73.6-107.1
 FEP 925-1400 71.3-107.9
 PFA 1700-2400 131.6-185.8
 PTFE 450-900 34.8-69.7
 PVDF 650-800 41.4-50.9

IONOMER
 PACKAGING 127-166 4.3-6.0
 INDUSTRIAL 150-244 5.0-8.3

LIQUID-
CRYSTAL
POLYMERS
 INJECTION
 MIN FILLED 690-1035 44.2-72.1
 GLASS FILLED 695-895 40-52
 CARBON FILLED 1700-2000 83.2-138.6
 UNFILLED 1000-1200 58-70
 EXTRUSION
 UNFILLED 1200-2200 60.5-110.9

MELAMINE
COMPOUND 90-94 5.5-5.6
MELAMINE/
PHENOLIC
COMPOUND 75-83 4.5-5.0

NYLON
 TYPE 6 124-139 6.2-7.0
 MIN FILLED 119-132 5.9-6.6
 30% GLASS 150-160 7.2-7.7
 TYPE 66 140-155 7.4-8.2
 MIN FILLED 140-148 7.4-7.8
 30% GLASS 180-190 8.8-9.3
 TYPE 69 250-276 9.7-10.7
 TYPE 6/10 286-313 12.4-13.6
 TYPE 612 400 15.3
 30% GLASS 309-311 14.7
 40% GLASS 309 14.7
 TYPE 46 295 12.6
 TYPE 11 329-341 13.6-14.1
 30% GLASS 331-350 15.0-15.8
 40% GLASS 347-360 17.7-18.5
 TYPE 12 318-341 12.1-13.0
 30% GLASS 327-350 14.7-15.8
 50% GLASS 299-340 15.6-17.8
 TRANSPARENT
 AMORPHOUS 247-360 10.3-15.0

PHENOLIC
MOLD COMP 55.5-87.5 2.8-4.0
 REINFORCED
 GRADES 100.5-267-5 6.0-15.9

POLYAMIDE-
IMIDE (g)
 UNFILLED 2310-3045 124.7-164.4
 30% GLASS 2250-2985 130.4-173.0
 30% CARBON FIB. 3260-3950 173.6-210.5
POLYARYLATE 200-280 8.8-12.3

POLYARYLSULFONE 440 21.8

POLYBUTYLENE
 G-P 94-96 3.1
 FILM 88-91 2.9
 PIPE
 COLD WATER 116-120 3.9-4.0
 HOT WATER 162-166 5.5-5.6

POLYCARBONATE
 INJECTION 138-165 5.9-7.0
 20% GLASS 177-190 7.6-8.2
 30% GLASS 178-217 7.6-9.3
 EXTRUSION 127-145 5.4-6.2
 BLOW MOLD 140-170 6.0-7.3
 STRUCT FOAM 149-181 6.4-7.8
 20% GLASS 235-255 10.1-11.0
 FR 166-197 7.1-8.5
 CD 82-100 [up arrow] 3.5-4.3 [up arrow]

POLYESTER (TP)
 PBT TYPE
 UNFILLED 143-150 6.9
 HI-IMP 154-165 7.6
 30% GLASS, FR 165-187 10.0
 STRUCT FOAM 159-165 NA (d)
PET
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR) 58-62 3.0-3.2
 MOD PET
 30% GLASS 132-143 7.4
 55% GLASS 148-155 9.8
 30% GLASS,
 FLAME RET 147-157 9.2
 PETG COPOL 114-124 5.2-5.6

POLYESTER THERMOSET
 G-P ORTHO 51-55 NA (d)
 ISOPHTHALIC 70-80 NA (d)
 BIS-A 120-150 NA (d)

PEEK 4400 231
 30% GLASS 3300 173

POLYETHERIMIDE 641-646 29.3-29.5
 30% GLASS 526-531 24.0-24.2

POLYETHERKETONE (PEK) 2950 130.1
 30% GLASS 2600 153

POLYETHERSULFONE 362 18.50
 30% GLASS 500 25.56

POLYETHYLENE
 (RAILCAR)
 LDPE
 G-P MOLDING
 & EXTRU 48-50 [up arrow] 1.6 [up arrow]
 INJECTION 48-50 [up arrow] 1.6 [up arrow]
 LID RESIN 49-51 [up arrow] 1.6-1.7 [up arrow]
 LINER 48-50 [up arrow] 1.6 [up arrow]
 CLARITY 46-48 [up arrow] 1.5-1.6 [up arrow]
 EXTRU COATG 47-47 [up arrow] 15-1.6 [up arrow]
 BLOW MOLD 49-51 [up arrow] 1.6-1.7 [up arrow]
LLDPE,
BUTENE-BASED
 G-P MOLDING 34-36 [up arrow] 1.1-1.2 [up arrow]
 FILM 36-38 [up arrow] 1.2-1.3 [up arrow]
 ROTOMOLD 38-40 [up arrow] 1.3-1.4 [up arrow]
LLDPE,
HOA-BASED
 G-P MOLDING 40-42 [up arrow] 1.3-1.4 [up arrow]
 LID RESIN 45-47 [up arrow] 1.5-1.6 [up arrow]
 LINER FILM 41-43 [up arrow] 1.4 [up arrow]
HDPE
 G-P INJ MOLD 38-40 [up arrow] 1.3-1.4 [up arrow]
 FILM 45-47 [up arrow] 1.5-1.6 [up arrow]
 BLOW MOLD 40-42 [up arrow] 1.4 [up arrow]
HMW-HDPE
 BLOW MOLDING 46-48 [up arrow] 1.6-1.7 [up arrow]
 FILM 49-51 [up arrow] 1.7 [up arrow]
 PIPE 53-55 [up arrow] 1.8-1.9 [up arrow]
 UHMW-PE 100-125 [up arrow] 3.6-3.7

PPE/PPO-BASED RESIN
 INJECTION 180 6.8
 20% GLASS h 283 12.3
 30% GLASS h 291 13.3
 EXTRUSION h 242 9.2
 STRUCT FM 231 NA (d)

PPS
 40% GLASS 340-385 20-23
 55% GLASS/MINERAL 275-295 18
 65% GLASS/MINERAL 205-260 15-19

POLY-PROPYLENE (RAILCAR)
 G-P HOMOPOL
 INJECTION 40-42 [up arrow] 1.3-1.4 [up arrow]
 EXTRUSION
 FIBER 38-40 [up arrow] 1.2-1.3 [up arrow]
 PROFILES 41-43 [up arrow] 1.3-1.4 [up arrow]
 RANDOM COPOL
 BLOW MOLDING 45-47 [up arrow] 1.5 [up arrow]
 FILM 44-46 [up arrow] 1.4-1.5 [up arrow]
 INJECTION 43-45 [up arrow] 1.4-1.5 [up arrow]
 IMPACT COPOL
 MED IMP 54-55 [up arrow] 1.7-1.8 [up arrow]
 HI IMP 55-60 [up arrow] 1.8-1.9 [up arrow]

POLYSTYRENE (RAILCAR)
 G-P CRYSTAL 41-43 [up arrow] 1.5-1.6 [up arrow]
 HI HEAT 42-45 [up arrow] 1.6 [up arrow]
HIPS 44-47 [up arrow] 1.6-1.7 [up arrow]
 SUPER HI IMP 58-62 2.2-2.3
 FR 81-92 3.0-3.5
 STRTUCT FM (FR) 91-93 NA

EPS
 UNMODIFIED 74-78 NA (d)
 MODIFIED 78-79 NA (d)

POLYSULFONE 440 19.71
 10% GLASS 430 20.6
 30% GLASS 372 20.01

POLYURE-THANE (TP)
 ESTER TYPE 185-255 8-11
 ETHER TYPE 245-295 10.6-13

PU ISOCYANATES
 POLYMERIC MDI 105-115 NA (d)
 80/20 TDI 110-120 NA (d)

PVC RESIN
(RAILCAR)
 G-P HOMOPOL 27-30 NA (d)
 PIPE 23-24 NA (d)
 FILM 35-38 NA (d)
 COPOLYMER
 FLOORING 44-46 NA (d)
 DISPERSION
 HOMOPOLY 56-60 NA (d)
 COPOLYMER 60-64 NA (d)
 CPVC PIPE
 COMPOUND 119 NA (d)

PVDC
 EXTRUDABLE 162 NA (d)

SILICONES
 MOLD. COMP. 581-640 38.1-39.3
 SPECIALTY GR. 891-3148 NA (d)
 SILICONE/EPOXY 339-343 22.5-22.8

STYRENE-ACRYLIC 108-112 3.7-4.0

SAN (G-P) 66-74 2.5-2.8

STYRENE MALEIC
ANHYDRIDE
 G-P 110-115 4.2-4.3
 HI IMP 130-140 4.2-4.5
 FR 175-183 6.7-7.0

TP ELASTOMERS
 OLEFINIC 70-76 2.4
 POLYAMIDE 287-337 10.4-12.3
 POLYESTER 200-310 8.8-13.6
 STYRENIC 83-237 2.9-8.3

UREA MOLDING COMPOUND
 BLACK & BROWN 67-78 3.6-4.1
 WHITE & IVORY 72 3.8

VINYL ESTER
 COR RES 147 NA (d)
 HEAT & COR RES 161 NA (d)


KEY: Colored areas indicate pricing activity. An arrow (down arrow) indicates direction of price change (a.)Truckload unless otherwise specified. (b.)Unfilled natural color, unless otherwise specified. (c.)Based on typical or average density. (d.)Not applicable. (e.)Novolac and anhydride grades for coils, busihings, transformers. (f.)Novolac and anhydride grades for resistors, capacitors diodes. (g.)In quantities of 20,000 lb. (h.)19,600-lb load.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:polypropylene; polyethylene; Polyvinyl chloride
Comment:PP, PE, PVC prices head up again. (Pricing Update).(polypropylene; polyethylene; Polyvinyl chloride)
Author:Schut, Jan H.
Publication:Plastics Technology
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Words:1997
Previous Article:Cyclics Corp. allies with Dow Automotive. (In Brief).
Next Article:Low inventories stiffen price hikes. (Recycle Pricing).
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