Sluggish demand and high inventory levels at processors led to a drop in prices for some engineering resins.
Market sources told Plastics News that regional prices for nylon, polycarbonate and ABS resins all declined in the first quarter of 2023.
Regional prices for nylon 6 and 6/6 resins in the first quarter were down 6-9 cents per pound, on average, with PC prices down 4-5 cents and ABS down 5 cents, sources said. Additional price decreases of 2-6 cents per pound for these materials could be seen in the second quarter, sources said.
Those pricing changes also impact PC/ABS and nylon/ABS blends.
In feedstocks, oil prices ticked down slightly in February, while natural gas prices moved up a little. West Texas Intermediate oil prices opened the month at $78.90 per barrel but by the end of the month were down more than 2 percent to $77.05. That decline accelerated in March, with prices closing down almost another 10 percent to $69.50 on March 21.
Markets for natural gas, used as a feedstock to make polyethylene and PVC, have been lower than expected because of warmer winter weather, but they managed to bump up slightly in February. Prices started the month at $2.68 per million British thermal units but had edged up almost 3 percent to $2.75 by the end of the month. But they declined from that point, sliding 14.5 percent to close at $2.35 on March 21.