Feedstocks have played different roles for solid polystyrene and PET bottle resin, sending PS prices up but PET bottle resin prices down since April 1.
North American solid PS prices jumped an average of 4 cents per pound in that span, according to sources contacted by Plastics News. That move was prompted by a rise in prices of benzene feedstock, which is used to make styrene monomer.
Benzene prices for April were up 23 cents to $2.25 per gallon. The PS hike is the second consecutive monthly increase for the material. Prices in March had moved up an average of 2 cents per pound.
Regional prices for PET bottle resin, however, have declined by an average of 1 cent per pound since April 1. PET prices were affected by prices for related feedstocks, including paraxylene and PTA, sources said.
The 1-cent decline for PET in April erases a 1-cent gain that prices had shown in March. Prices for the material also had been up 1 cent in February after declining by 1 cent in December.
The net result of these moves is that PET prices are right back where they started on Jan. 1.