AKRON, OHIO - Prices for many commodity thermoplastics began retreating last week, as producers scrambled to gain and retain market positions. Producers and buyers said prices for polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene all dropped 1-3 cents per pound, depending on the grade and quantities purchased.
Producers quietly retracted outstanding price-increase announcements for polypropylene and polystyrene as competition stiffened and demand slowed, the sources said.
However, even in the face of slowing demand, several polypropylene producers last week said they intend to enforce the price increases they announced earlier.
Polypropylene producers cited slow sales to the automotive industry as reasons for declining demand.
In other materials, suppliers cited slowdowns in housing starts and other industrial sectors as reasons for slackening demand.