November was a somewhat quiet month for North American commodity resins, with only polypropylene and PET bottle resin posting higher prices.
Regional PP prices ticked up another penny per pound for the month, marking the second straight month that market prices had moved up by that amount. Prices had jumped 7 cents per pound in September as the market reacted to temporary shortages caused by Hurricane Harvey.
North American PP sales grew just over 1 percent in the first 10 months of 2017, according to the American Chemistry Council. Domestic sales grew 2.5 percent in that period but were softened by a 32.5 percent plunge in exports.
North American PET prices moved up a total of 3 cents per pound in October and November, resulting from material tightness and higher feedstock costs. Prices for the material had increased an average of 4 cents per pound in September as Hurricane Harvey affected the availability of PET feedstocks made on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Regional PET prices now have increased for six consecutive months. The bankruptcy filing of PET maker M&G Polymers led the firm to stop production at plants in Altamira, Mexico, and Apple Grove, W.Va., reducing the availability of resin in the region and providing some justification for higher prices.
Imports might help North American processors in the short term. But on Nov. 8, U.S. trade officials voted to continue to investigate a request by four major North American PET makers to place antidumping duties on PET imports from Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan. A decision is expected by early March.
Plastics News also recently reported higher prices for nylon 6 and 6/6 resins in North America. Higher feedstock costs and strong demand from the automotive market sent nylon 6 prices up an average of 6 cents per pound and nylon 6/6 prices up an average of 8 cents per pound since Sept. 1, according to market sources. North American nylon 6 and 6/6 prices already had surged a total of 18 cents this year.