Average North American selling prices for polypropylene and PVC resins each have seen slight drops since April 1.
Meanwhile, regional prices for engineering resins polycarbonate, ABS and nylon took the opposite path in the first quarter of 2018, climbing by several cents.
PP prices have slipped an average of 1 cent per pound, while prices for suspension PVC have declined an average of 2 cents per pound, according to market sources contacted by Plastics News.
The 1-cent drop for PP follows a 6-cent plunge that hit the market in March. Prices also had fallen 6 cents in February after jumping up 9 cents in January. This four-month roller coaster has left regional PP prices down a net of 4 cents per pound so far in 2017.
The market continues to follow supplies of polymer-grade propylene feedstock. The April decline was slightly less than expected by some buyers.
For PP, profit margin expansion "is largely being pushed out to May, according to Scott Newell, a market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas. "However, there will be some price points taking a portion of it."
North American PP sales through March were down more than 1 percent vs. the same period in 2017, according to the American Chemistry Council. A domestic sales decline of 1 percent was worsened by a plunge of almost 12 percent for sales into the export market.
PP posted positive domestic sales results for those three months in film — up 8 percent — and injection molded caps and closures, where sales grew more than 3 percent.