What goes up must surely come down.
North American polypropylene resin buyers were reminded of that in April as prices tumbled an average of 5.5 cents per pound. Regional prices for the material had increased by an average of 20.5 cents per pound in the first three months of 2017.
Market sources said that lower PP prices were the result of lower prices for polymer-grade propylene (PGP) feedstock. PGP supplies also are improving as some maintenance outages come to an end, they added.
The wave of three price hikes that started the year also led PP users to pre-buy in advance of additional increases.
North American PP sales were up almost 1 percent in the first three months of 2017, according to the American Chemistry Council. Domestic sales essentially were flat in that period, but export sales surged 60 percent.
Among domestic end markets, three-month PP sales into injection molding grew 2.5 percent. That sector was led by a 5 percent gain for PP sales into consumer and institutional products, including furniture and housewares.