Plastics, resins & HDPE report: July 2017
PVC resin prices seem to be stabilizing after dropping in the previous months. Demand appears to be soft with plenty of production. Although there may be some potential for a small decline in pricing, major moves in one direction or another continue to seem unlikely for the time being.
Currently, the production lines at HDPE extruders are as blistering hot as the mid-summer sun and the lead times are just as brutal. The price increases from earlier in the year have plateaued for a couple of consecutive months except for a few HDPE resin manufacturers, specifically Exxon and Formosa, which have put out the possibility of a 3-cent per pound increase for August. However, the HDPE resin index looks at the entire breadth of products, from milk jugs to plastic shopping bags and the piping market is just a small segment of the overall mix of uses for HDPE.
So while the piping market is at peak levels of demand, the remaining HDPE non-piping products are down to flat, which seems to indicate the August increase will probably not happen. Lead times for standard piping products from most manufacturers are still six to eight weeks, if you are fortunate, but in many cases, they are 10 to 12 weeks. All extruders are running around the clock to meet demand and some now are putting out prices well above the high end of the market so as to keep distributors from extending their backlogs beyond what they can promise.
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