Buyers of standard thermoplastics forced producers to backtrack on initial plans to boost their profit margins by raising prices in September.
PE prices managed a weak rollover after the ethylene contract price fell by a modest €5/tonne. PVC also saw a rollover despite producers’ attempts to raise prices. PP prices were down by less than the full propylene cost reduction while PS producers had to give away around half of the reduction in styrene monomer costs. PET producers, on the other hand, managed to increase prices in line with higher feedstock costs.
Producers expected a recovery in demand last month following an end to the holiday season. Polymer demand was, however, much lower than expected in September as a result of the slowdown in economic activity.
Supply has started to lengthen, particularly for PS and PVC, in the face of subdued sales levels. Producers responded by reducing plant operating rates with several cracker and polymer plants also undergoing maintenance turnarounds last month.
Read the full European Plastics News commodity resin pricing report, including resin-by-resin analysis and detailed grade prices here.