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, Materials Suppliers, Resin Pricing
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

New Hexcel plant will supply carbon fiber for Airbus A350 XWB

September 30, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hexcel Corp. is investing $250 million on a new carbon fiber plant in France, with part of the production going into the future Airbus SAS A350 XWB.    More

Image

LyondellBasell CEO Gallogly to retire

September 30, 2014 3:00 pm ET

James Gallogly, CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, on Sept. 29 announced plans to retire in 2015.    More

Image

Asahi Kasei breaks ground on Alabama compounding plant

September 29, 2014 5:39 pm ET

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America will be able to solve two problems at once with a new compounding plant in Athens, Ala.    More

Image

DuPont shifting Teflon production in China

September 29, 2014 2:35 pm ET

DuPont Co. will spend more than $15 million to improve its fluoropolymer product offerings in China.    More

Image

Sale of PVC maker Oltchim still in limbo

September 29, 2014 10:25 am ET

Fresh attempts to privatize insolvent Romanian PVC producer Oltchim SA have met with new obstacles as the European Union questioned the Romanian gover...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events