North American polypropylene resin prices saw a hefty increase in February.
Average prices climbed 8 cents per pound, reflecting a 7 cent increase in prices for polymer-grade propylene feedstock, with PP makers gaining 1 cent in margin improvement as well. PP prices had jumped up 11 cents in January, matching a similar move in PGP.
"Clearly the PGP market remains tight," officials with New York-based PP supplier Blue Clover LLC said in a market update. "There is a continued supply constraint issue with delayed downtime experienced by PDH [propane dehydrogenation] production." Blue Clover officials also described current PP demand as "stagnant."
Supplies of PGP in the region have been tightened by planned turnarounds at plants operated by Enterprise Products and Invista in Texas. Market sources said the Enterprise plant is back online, while the Invista plant remains down.
"It's a very unusual time [for a PP price increase], because there's a lot of inventory and demand hasn't been good," said Paul Pavlov, a market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.