Resin prices rise, A. Schulman takeover goes bust

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AKRON, OHIO — Price hikes for polypropylene and high density polyethylene resins are featured in this week's Material Insights video. Also this week we report that A. Schulman Inc. is throwing in the towel on its effort to buy Ferro Corp.

First up, North American plastics processors saw prices rise for both polypropylene and high density polyethylene resins in June.

PP prices moved up an average of 3 cents per pound, in part because of unexpected plant outages. On top of that, Phillips 66 told customers last week that it was limiting production at its Linden, N.J., plant because of problems with its supply of propylene monomer.

In high density polyethylene, prices were up an average of 2 cents per pound in June. In this case it's a combination of supply issues and stronger demand.

HDPE supplies have been impacted by issues at Formosa's Point Comfort, Texas, plant, and Chevron Phillips' Cedar Bayou plant, as well as a Williams Cos. Olefins plant in Louisiana.

Meanwhile demand for HDPE has been solid — up more than 6 percent through April.

David Barry of Petrochem Wire expects polyethylene prices to correct downward in July.

The other big news in materials last week came from a couple of Ohio-based suppliers that have been trading press releases for the past four months.

Last week A. Schulman CEO Joe Gingo said his company was throwing in the towel on its effort to buy Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Ferro Corp.

Schulman had made a hostile offer of $563 million for Ferro. But Schulman never sweetened the offer, and Ferro officials stuck to their opinion that the company was better off pursuing its own turnaround strategy.