North American prices for solid polystyrene resin increased for the second month in a row in September, while regional prices for PET bottle resin regained a penny they had lost.
Solid PS prices in the region bounced up an average of 3 cents per pound in September after seeing a 2-cent hike in August. The September jump was tied into a 22-cent-per-gallon upswing in prices for benzene feedstock. Benzene prices for September closed at $2.51 per gallon — up almost 10 percent from the previous month.
Regional PS prices now are up a net of 6 cents per pound since Jan. 1. North American PS sales through August were down almost 1 percent compared to the same period in 2015, according to the American Chemistry Council. Sales of the material into food packaging and food service — its largest end market — essentially were flat, while sales into the electrical/electronic end market grew 1 percent.
Regional prices for PET bottle resin ticked up by an average of 1 cent per pound in September, after they had slipped down by that same amount in August. The move followed an increase in September contact prices for paraxylene feedstock, market sources said.
The 1-cent hike is the first increase seen by North American PET since a 2-cent jump took hold in April. Prices after that had been flat for three months before declining in August. Regional PET bottle resin prices now are up a net of 1 cent per pound so far in 2016.