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PC, ABS, Nylon Prices On The Rise As PP, PVC Dip
Yangzhou Chengsen Plastics Co.,Ltd | Updated: May 02, 2018


Average North American selling prices for polypropylene and PVC resins each have seen slight drops since April 1.

Meanwhile, regional prices for engineering resins polycarbonate, ABS and nylon took the opposite path in the first quarter of 2018, climbing by several cents.

PP prices have slipped an average of 1 cent per pound, while prices for suspension PVC have declined an average of 2 cents per pound, according to market sources contacted by Plastics News.

The 1-cent drop for PP follows a 6-cent plunge that hit the market in March. Prices also had fallen 6 cents in February after jumping up 9 cents in January. This four-month roller coaster has left regional PP prices down a net of 4 cents per pound so far in 2017.

The market continues to follow supplies of polymer-grade propylene feedstock. The April decline was slightly less than expected by some buyers.

For PP, profit margin expansion "is largely being pushed out to May, according to Scott Newell, a market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas. "However, there will be some price points taking a portion of it."

North American PP sales through March were down more than 1 percent vs. the same period in 2017, according to the American Chemistry Council. A domestic sales decline of 1 percent was worsened by a plunge of almost 12 percent for sales into the export market.

PP posted positive domestic sales results for those three months in film — up 8 percent — and injection molded caps and closures, where sales grew more than 3 percent.

Suspension PVC falls

Regional suspension PVC prices moved down an average of 2 cents in April after increasing 2 cents for March and 3 cents in February. PVC prices had been flat in January, placing regional market prices up a net of 3 cents through the first four months of 2017.

"We'll see what's happening in building and construction to see how May shapes up," a PVC market source told Plastics News. "If volume increases, [PVC resin] prices may hold."

U.S./Canadian PVC sales grew more than 1 percent through February, with export growth of almost 6 percent making up for a decline of almost 1 percent in domestic sales. Two-month PVC sales into its flagship rigid pipe and tubing end market were down almost 3 percent, as winter weather slowed construction activity.

In other major PVC end markets, sales into film and sheet slumped almost 7 percent through February, while PVC sales into extruded windows and doors are off to a scorching start in 2018, surging almost 20 percent.

PC, ABS, nylon climb

Engineering resins markets in the first quarter were impacted by solid demand, higher raw material costs and scattered production and supply issues, according to market sources.

Regional PC resin prices increased by an average of 7 cents per pound, while ABS was up 4 cents, nylon 6 was up 6 and nylon 6/6 up 7.

Sources also indicated that regional prices for ABS and nylon 6/6 could see additional price increases in the second quarter.


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