North American prices for most major commodity resins increased in February, as tight supplies and higher feedstock costs provided leverage for suppliers to take those steps.
Price hikes hit markets for polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, solid polystyrene and PET bottle resin, according to market sources contacted by Plastics News. These changes have been shown on the PN resin pricing chart.
Prices for all grades of PE surged 5 cents per pound in February. That hike "was a bit of a rebound from the decreases from the end of last year," according to David Barry, a market analyst with the PetroChem Wire consulting firm in Houston.
"January [PE] demand sounds like it was very strong, even though there wasn't much export activity," he said. "And February started with a lot of spot [sales] activity, although that slowed down later in the month."
Regional PE prices had been flat in January but a February price increase was expected because of higher prices for ethylene feedstock. PE prices fell an average of 2 cents per pound in December, but were up a net of 4 cents for full-year 2016. PE makers now are seeking increases of 6 cents per pound set for this month.