As we approach spring 2017, increases in PVC pricing this year appear more likely. In January, CPVC pipe had a modest increase around 5% and seems to be holding. This is the first increase to CPVC since 2014. A variety of sources are anticipating increases to PVC base resin prices of around 5% in February and another 5% in March. Attempts to increase pipe prices on schedule 40 earlier this year struggled to take hold. As demand appears to be increasing this spring, the likelihood of an increase holding now seems more likely. The increases in resin prices along with the potential for increased demand have caused most PVC manufacturers to announce an increase in March. There is always a possibility that increases in oil and natural gas prices could drive resin prices higher as well.
The HDPE resin market has been steadily rising since January and the trend is anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future. HDPE pipe has risen 11 cents per pound in the past six weeks with another nickel increase expected the first of March. Overall, activity has picked up and production lines are full with new orders running four weeks out — 12 weeks out for larger sizes. In attempts to get ahead of the next price increase, manufacturers are receiving sizeable stock orders to go along with large projects which means deliveries are being pushed out further.