North American prices for solid polystyrene resin fell for the second straight month in May.
Regional prices for recycled high density polyethylene and PET bottle resin also are down in recent months, while selling prices for polycarbonate and nylon 6/6 resins have increased.
Solid PS prices in the region dipped by an average of 2 cents per pound in May. Some buyers reported seeing a 3 cent drop, but most saw the 2, which had been pre-announced by PS maker Americas Styrenics.
PS prices had fallen by 5 cents in April after increasing by 6 cents in March. These moves have been driven by price volatility for benzene feedstock, which is used to make styrene monomer.
North American PS sales are off to a rough start in 2017, falling almost 4 percent through April, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. Sales of PS into consumer and institutional uses were down almost 10 percent in that period. PS sales into the electrical/electronic sector provided a bright spot, increasing almost 5 percent in those four months.
Regional prices for all grades of PC resin are up an average of 14 cents per pound since Jan. 1, as a result of higher prices for benzene and other feedstocks.
Prices for nylon 6/6 resin in the region have increased an average of 6 cents per pound since March 1, also resulting from higher feedstock costs. Prices for that material already had increased a total of 12 cents per pound on average in January and February.
In recycled resin markets for North America, average selling prices for recycled HDPE are down 4 cents per pound since March 1, with recycled PET bottle resin prices down an average of 2 cents per pound since then as well. Both price decreases are connected to lower demand, market sources said.