Plastics, resins & HDPE report: May 2017
HDPE pipe continues to be in short supply following last year’s exit of a major manufacturer. Remaining production lines are humming to keep pace with the upsurge in energy demand. Typical lead times are four to six weeks with large-diameter product taking as long as four months to get to purchasers. No sign, yet, of the supply situation easing.
Both PE and PVC resin prices were trending down toward April’s end due, in part, to falling oil prices as well as robust inventories. PE resins have gained 3¢/lb., so far this year and some producers tried to enact another 3¢/lb., in April, but have postponed the increase until May.
PVC suppliers also were reported having problems enacting their 3¢/lb., hike in April. Some analysts see a retreat in the near-term, although much will depend on the all-important construction season for PVC pipe. If home building takes off, PVC prices should respond in similar fashion.