Current situation:

  • Producer prices for HDPE pipe were up 2.6% M/M (up 1.6% last month) and were up 1.8% Y/Y (down 2.0% Y/Y last month).  Plastic pipe fittings and unions were down 0.4% M/M (up 0.4% last month) and were down 0.3% Y/Y (down 0.6% last month). 


Key factors that could affect supply or price:

  • Some petrochemical units may be offline for weeks due to Hurricane Sally.  The ability to start up again will depend on the availability of power, feedstocks, employees, contractors to work on the damages, and transportation.  Although it appears no PVC facilities were damaged, VCM plants that supply PVC plants were.  Coupled with Formosa's VCM situation, a lot of PVC has been removed from an already tight market.  As PVC resin supply further tightens, PVC Pipe and Fitting manufacturers are already struggling to keep up with demand, expect more shortages and longer lead times on many products.  Don't expect this to get better any time soon.  
  • On the pricing front, Oxy (resin producer) announced a $.05/lb. increase effective immediately (others will follow) on top of the already announced $.03/lb. increase in September.  Expect another increase in October.