Polypropylene prices drop in March

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 3, 2014 5:11 pm ET
Updated: April 3, 2014 5:12 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Resin Pricing, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations American Chemistry Council

North American PP resin prices fell for the second consecutive month in March, as winter weather affected some deliveries.

Prices for propylene monomer feedstock also fell 1.5 cents for the month. Some PP buyers saw that amount — with a small number even seeing a 2-cent drop — but the change is being shown as a one-cent downward move on this week’s Plastics News resin pricing chart.

Regional PP prices also had slid 1 cent per pound in February — again due to weather — after climbing a total of 9 cents per pound in December-January. Planned turnarounds at some propylene production facilities could tighten that market in April, sources said, potentially reducing the chance of another price drop.

Even with the 1-cent March drop, regional PP prices have been far less volatile so far in 2014 than they were in 2013. Pricing saw 27 cents of volatility in the first three months of 2013, with prices going up 21 cents in January-February before falling 6 cents in March. The 2014 market has seen only 7 cents of volatility so far, climbing 5 cents in January and falling 2 cents in February-March.

In the first two months of the year, North American PP sales have climbed 1.4 percent to almost 2.6 billion pounds, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. That increase comes entirely from export sales, which almost doubled in the period. Domestic sales, on the other hand, tumbled almost one percent.

February was a particularly strong sales month for PP, with domestic sales up almost 4 percent and export sales more than doubling, according to ACC. For the two-month period, PP sales into sheet surged almost 32 percent and sales to distributors climbed 18 percent.

Weak demand spots, however, were seen in two-month PP sales into injection molded rigid packaging (down almost 18 percent) and injection molded consumer/institutional products (down almost 5 percent).

At the recent IHS World Petrochemical Conference in Houston, IHS PP analyst Joel Morales said that upcoming new supplies of propylene monomer from PDH technology will make North American prices more competitive for North American processors.

Only one PP expansion project has been announced for the region, but IHS expects that about 3 billion pounds of new capacity eventually will be added in the next several years. This change also will lead to increased PP exports from North America, with that total moving from about 600 million pounds in 2013 to almost 2 billion pounds by 2018.


Comments

Polypropylene prices drop in March

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 3, 2014 5:11 pm ET
Updated: April 3, 2014 5:12 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Foster building medical polymers plant

September 19, 2014 1:39 pm ET

Foster Delivery Science is investing $8 million in a new plant in Putnam, Conn., for production of medical polymer blends, as well as rods, film or...    More

Image

BP to restart damaged PTA unit in limited capacity by November

September 19, 2014 10:27 am ET

British Petroleum plc may restart its fire-damaged purified terephthalic acid (PTA) feedstock unit in South Carolina in late October or early...    More

Image

Bayer spinning off plastics business

September 18, 2014 8:49 am ET

Bayer AG will spin off its MaterialScience plastics group into a separate, publicly-traded company within the next 12 to 18 months.    More

Image

Investor group wants DuPont to split in two

September 18, 2014 7:37 pm ET

Investment firm Trian Fund Management LP is calling for plastics and chemicals giant DuPont Co. to split itself into two firms, one of which would...    More

Image

Minnesota receives grant to help develop new bioplastics

September 17, 2014 4:08 pm ET

The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events