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Polyolefin prices flare up again.

* In the first four months of the year, commodity resin prices took a breather from their relentless uphill march. Then, last month, polyolefin prices caught a sudden updraft. Resin demand and monomer prices, both of which had been slumping for months, made a quick turnaround.

PE is high and tight

Polyethylene prices were on the way up last month as suppliers aimed to implement their May 1 increases, generally 6 cents/lb for LL/LDPE and 3 cents for HDPE. A new price increase of 7 cents/lb was issued by several major suppliers for June 1. This initiative follows a cumulative drop of 20 cents/lb in PE resin prices since December.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) short-term futures contract for June in butene LLDPE for g-p blown film is 56.5 cents/lb, up from May's 53.8 cents and April's 51 cents/lb.

Contributing factors: Suppliers' efforts to raise prices are encouraged by an uptick in demand resulting from a combination of a seasonal factors and inventory restocking by processors. "Demand was flat in the first quarter, but we expect demand in the second quarter to be up 2% to 3%," said one major resin maker. "We anticipate overall demand in 2006 to show growth of 6% to 8%, with about half of that the result of downstream inventory replenishment, and the rest a solid increase," says a major supplier.

Ethylene monomer contract prices, which had dropped 2 cents/lb to 45.5 cents/lb for April, were generally expected to move up 4 cents to 6 cents in May, following a rise in spot prices to 50 cents/lb. "There is no major new capacity scheduled for either ethylene or polyethylene, so supply will only get tighter," says one industry source. Moreover, Huntsman's ethylene cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, which accounts for 2% of domestic ethylene supply, may not be back in operation for at least six months after a major fire there last month.

PP prices rising, too

Polypropylene prices were also on the way up last month, generally by 4 cents/1b, as suppliers aimed to fully implement their May increases. A new 6 cents increase, effective June 1, appeared to have been led by Basell Polyolefins.

LME's June short-term futures contract for g-p injection-grade homopolymer is 53.2 cents/lb, up from May's 50.1 cents and April's 51 cents/lb.

Contributing factors: In defense of its price hike, Basell cited continued escalation of energy, transportation, and feedstock costs, along with improved demand--factors that are confirmed by other suppliers and industry analysts. Says one supplier, "Demand was up about 2% in the first quarter over 2005, but we anticipate a 3% to 4% increase for the second quarter. We are also seeing more customers looking to stock up, generally with a month's supply, in anticipation of this year's hurricane season."

Meanwhile, polymer-grade propylene monomer stood at 47 cents/1b in April, with May contracts expected to settle at about 49 cents. At press time last month, June monomer prices appeared to be headed upward by another 1 cents to 2 cents/lb.

Nylon hike

Solutia announced a price increase of 7 cents/lb on all its Ascend and Vydyne nylon 66 resins.

PUR prices & surcharges rise

Dow Polyurethanes issued a 5 cents/lb increase for June 1 on TDI, MDI, and polyether and copolymer polyols. Meanwhile, BASF implemented a 2 cents/lb fuel surcharge on all tank truck, tote, and drum shipments of its PUR systems for rigid and flexible foams and solid urethane applications as of May 15. BASF attributes its move to the need to offset the "severe impact" on both its inbound and outbound freight costs due to high diesel and gasoline prices.

On a positive note, Bayer MaterialScience claims to have developed new technology for making TDI that reduces the plant capital cost by 10% to 20% and cuts energy consumption by one-third. A 60-million-lb/yr pilot plant using the new technology has been running in Germany for over a year. Bayer plans to use the technology commercially for the first time at a 320-million-lb plant planned to be built in China by the end of 2009.

Styrene plant idled for lack of ethylene

Nova Chemicals decided last month to "temporarily idle" its Bayport, Texas, styrene monomer plant because of limited ethylene feedstock availability on the Gulf Coast. In particular, Huntsman Corp. declared force majeure on ethylene after an explosion at its olefins plant in Port Arthur, Texas, at the end of April.
Market Prices Effective Mid-May (a)

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

ABS
 MED IMPACT 80-90 3.0-3.4
 HI IMPACT 85-125 3.2-4.7
 X-HI IMPACT 95-140 3.6-5.3
 HI HEAT 85-110 3.8
 PIPE 85-110 3.2-4.1
 SHEET 90-110 3.4-4.2
 TRANSPARENT 125-165 4.9-6.4
 FITTINGS 85-115 3.2-d.3
 PLATING 95-105 3.5-3.9
 FLAME RET 120-140 4.6-5.9
 STRUCT FM 83-97 3.6-4.3
 10% GLASS 125-140 5.0
 30% GLASS 116-136 5.3-6.3
 ABS/PC ALLOY 145-180 5.5-6.8
 ABS/PVC ALLOY 130-135 5.8-6.1
 ABS/NYLON ALLOY 190 7.3

ACETAL
 HOMOPOL 130-147 6.7-7.3
 20% GLASS 160-220 9.0-12.4
 COPOLYMER 133-145 6.8-7.4
 25% GLASS 160-230 8.1-11.7

ACRYLIC
 G-P 117 5.0
 IMPACT 192 8.2

ACRYLONI-
TRILE COPOL
 EXTRUSION 78-110 3.3-4.7
 INJECTION 130-191 5.4-7.9

ALKYD 65-74 14.9-5.5

CELLULOSICS
 ACETATE 187 8.6
 CAB 189 8.2
 CAP 189 8.2

DAP (G-P) 251197 16.3-34.7

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

EVA
 INJECTION 46-52 1.5-1.7
 FILM EXTRU 42-49 1.4-1.6

EVOH 265 11.3

FLUORO-
POLYMER
 CTFE 2500-5500 193-424
 ECTFE 1470-1680 93.1-107.7
 ETFE 1155-1680 70.7-102.8
 FEP 971-1470 74.8-113.2
 PFA 1785-2520 134.9-190.5
 PTFE 450-900 34.8-69.7
 PVDF 680-900 43.3-57.3

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 6 139-159 5.7-6.5
 MIN FILLED 131-144 5.4-5.9
 30% GLASS 148-173 6.0-7.0
 TYPE 66 153-168 6.3-6.9
 MIN FILLED 151-159 6.2-6.5
 30% GLASS 142-192 5.8-7.9
 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 75 3.8
 REINFORCED
 GRADES 105-268 6.1-16

POLYAMIDE-
IMIDE (g)
 UNFILLED 2750 148.5
 30% GLASS 2500 135
 30% CARBON FIB. 3500 185

POLYARYLATE 200-280 8.8-12.3

POLYARYL-
SULFONE 440 21.8

POLYETHYLENE
 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

POLYCAR-
BONATE
 INJECTION 138-165 5.9-7.0
 20% GLASS 177-190 7.6-8.2
 30% GLASS 178-217 7.6-9.3
 EXTRUSION 145-180 6.3-7.8
 BLOW MOLD 155-190 6.7-8.2
 STRUCT FOAM 149-181 6.4-7.8
 20% GLASS 235-255 10.1-11.0
 FR 166-197 7.1-8.5
 CD 140-200 6.0-8.6

POLYESTER (TP)
PBT TYPE
 UNFILLED 143-150 6.9
 HI-IMP 154-165 7.6
 30% GLASS, FR 185-207 11.9
 STRUCT FOAM 159-165 NA (d)

PET
 BOTTLE (RAILCAR) 82-87 4.1-4.4
 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 135-140 NA (d)
 ISOPHTHALIC 160-170 NA (d)
 BIS-A 205-210 NA (d)

PEEK 4400 231
 30% GLASS 3300 173

POLYETHER-
 IMIDE 641-646 29.3-29.5
 30% GLASS 526-531 24.0-24.2
POLYETHER-
 KETONE (PEK) 2950 130.1
 30% GLASS 2600 153

POLYETHER-
 SULFONE 350-400 17.2-19.7
 30% GLASS 425-525 21-25.9
POLYETHYLENE
(RAILCAR)
LDPE
 G-P MOLDING
 & EXTRU 82-84 2.6-2.7
 INJECTION 85-87 2.7-2.8
 LID RESIN 87-89 2.8
 LINER 83-85 2.6-2.7
 CLARITY 81-83 2.6
 EXTRU COATG 85-87 2.7-2.8
 BLOW MOLD 87-89 2.8

LLDPE,
BUTENE-
BASED
 G-P MOLDING 71-73 2.4
 FILM 73-75 2.4-2.5
 LME 30-DAY (j)# 56.5# [up arr1.9# [up arrow]
 ROTOMOLD 75-77 2.4-2.5

LLDPE,
HAO-BASED
 G-P MOLDING 74-76 2.4-2.5
 LID RESIN 83-85 2.7-2.8
 LINER FILM 78-80 2.6-2.7

HDPE
 G-P INJ MOLD 72-74 2.5
 FILM 82-84 2.7-2.8
 BLOW MOLD 76-78 2.6-2.7

HMW-HDPE
 BLOW MOLDING 81-83 2.7-2.8
 FILM 83-85 2.8
 PIPE 88-90 2.9
 UHMW-PE 100-125 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 357-404 21.2-24.0
 55% GLASS/
 MINERAL 289-310 20.8-22.3
 65% GLASS/
 MINERAL 226-273 15.5-18.7

POLY-
PROPYLENE
(RAILCAR)
 G-P HOMOPOL
 INJECTION 76-78 2.5-2.6
 LME 30-DAY (j)# 53.2# [up arr1.7# [up arrow]
 EXTRUSION
 FIBER 75-77 2.5-2.6
 PROFILES 80-82 2.6-2.7
 RANDOM COPOL
 BLOW MOLDING 81-83 2.6-2.7
 FILM 80-82 2.6-2.7
 INJECTION 78-80 2.6
 IMPACT COPOL
 MED IMP 89-91 2.9
 HI IMP 92-94 2.9-3.0

POLYSTYRENE
(RAILCAR)
 G-P CRYSTAL 64-72 2.4-2.7
 HI HEAT 67-75 2.5-2.8
 HIPS 65-72 2.4-2.7
 SUPER HI IMP 75-81 2.8-3.0
 FR 83-91 3.1-3.4
 STRUCT FM (FR) 105-108 NA

EPS
 UNMODIFIED 85-88 NAd
 MODIFIED 86-90 NAd

POLYSULFONE 432-512 19.3-22.9
 10% GLASS 607-612 27-27.3
 30% GLASS 557-562 24.9-25

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

PU
ISOCYANATES (j)
 POLYMERIC MDI 120-135 NA (d)
 80/20 TDI 90-98 NA (d)

PVC RESIN
(RAILCAR)
 G-P HOMOPOL 53-55 NA (d)
 PIPE 50-52 NA (d)
 FILM 61-64 NA (d)
 COPOLYMER
 FLOORING 71-73 NA (d)
 DISPERSION
 HOMOPOLY 84-90 NA (d)
 COPOLYMER 89-93 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 76 3.8
 WHITE & IVORY 81 4.0

VINYL ESTER
 COR RES 205-217 NA (d)
 HEAT & COR RES 230 NA (d)

KEY: Colored areas indicate pricing activity.
An arrow (') indicates direction of price change.

(a) Truckload, unless otherwise specified.

(b) Unfilied, natural color, unless otherwise specified.

(c) Based on typical or average density.

(d) Not applicable.

(e) Novolac and anhydride grades for coils, bushings, transformers.

(f) Novolac and anhydride grades for resistors, capacitors, diodes.

(g) In quantities of 20,000 lb.

(h) 19,800-lb load.

(i) Prices include benzene surcharge.

(j) LME 30-day futures contract for lots of 54,564 lb.

Note: Colored areas indicate pricing activity indicated with #.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Your Business: Pricing Update
Author:Sherman, Lilli Manolis
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:1946
Previous Article:New low-cost parts supplier established.
Next Article:Helping multi-shot molding taxi for takeoff.


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