Updated: Improving supplies and softening demand sent North American prices for several commodity resins down in July.
Plastics News is reporting decreases for polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC and PET bottle resin prices.
PP continued its downward slide, tumbling 7 cents in July after a 10-cent drop in June. PET bottle resin prices dropped 12 cents in July, giving back almost all of a 13-cent June increase.
PE prices fell an average of 3 cents per pound while PVC fell 5 cents.
The 7-cent July drop for PP matched a 4-cent drop in polymer grade propylene (PGP) monomer feedstock and was increased by PP buyers winning an additional 3 cents from suppliers. Combined with other increases and decreases, PP prices now are down a net of 12 cents so far in 2022.
Market sources told Plastics News that regional PP demand has declined slightly in recent months. Strong North American gasoline demand also is increasing supplies of propylene, which is a byproduct of gas refining. Gas demand is up from the summer driving season and from refineries working to get back to full production after the pandemic.
PET bottle resin's 12-cent drop gave back almost all of a 13-cent June increase. Even with the July drop, prices for the materials are up a net of 36 cents so far in 2022.
According to market sources, the July PET price decline was the result of a large price decrease for paraxylene (PX) feedstock, combined with lower demand and higher inventories of PET.
Strong seasonal demand for bottled water and other beverages had played a role in earlier PET price increases, as well as a lack of new capacity and freight and logistics challenges. Higher gasoline demand also had lifted prices for PX, which also is used as a gas additive.