North American polypropylene prices in October continued their rollicking ride through 2016 with a decrease, while prices for PET bottle resin and PVC both rose.
Regional PP prices slid 1.5 cents per pound in October, following a similar price decrease in polymer-grade propylene feedstock. PP prices had soared a total of 9.5 cents per pound in August-September as inventories tightened. But those hikes came only after prices had fallen for five straight months — knocking a total of 10 cents off of PP prices — because of a big increase in availability of imported PP.
Taking into account prior increases and decreases, regional PP prices now are up a net of 2 cents per pound since Jan. 1.
Propylene prices are falling as inventories are trending up, according to Scott Newell, a market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas. Supply/demand balances have improved for propylene monomer, he added.
North American PP sales were up 0.8 percent in the first nine months of 2016, according to the American Chemistry Council. Domestic sales essentially were flat for that period, while export sales surged almost 38 percent.
Although the overall domestic PP market was flat, some end markets did experience sales growth through September. In the sheet market, sales were up almost 5 percent. Domestic sales of PP into injection molded rigid packaging were up more than 2 percent.