PET resin prices took a surprising jump in January even as two other resins continued a slide.
North American PET bottle resin prices surged up 12 cents after being flat in December. That major hike was caused by severe supply tightness and higher feedstock costs as well as by freight and logistics challenges.
"Our balance is beyond tight right now," one PET supplier said.
North American prices for polypropylene and suspension PVC resin prices both slid 3 cents per pound during the month.
PP's dip comes after slipping a total of 28 cents in November and December. Market sources said the January drop came from lower producer profit margins, as prices for polymer-grade propylene feedstock surprisingly were flat for the month. PP prices were down a total of 40 cents in the last four months of 2021 after seeing huge price hikes since early 2020.
"We're seeing customers have more [PP] inventory than they've had in the past," said Gerard Selvaggio, a partner at New York City-area PP distributor Blue Clover LLC Polymer Solutions. "Plus they're less concerned about supply being there because of weather issues."
Regional suspension PVC prices had been flat in December and took a surprising 5-cent jump in November. Prices for the material increased 31.5 cents in 2021 and a net of 47 cents since January 2020.
A major reason for tight second-half supply conditions was the PVC sector's ongoing recovery from Hurricane Ida, which hit the Louisiana coast in late August. Major plants operated by Shintech Inc., Formosa Plastics Corp. USA and Westlake Chemical Corp. all were shut down for periods of time.
Watch for the Jan. 31, 2022, issue of Plastics News for more resin pricing details.