So, with the start of the new year and the settling of the resin market's tumultuous pricing created by the hurricane activity in the fall, we are back at posting the Plastic Exchange resin market updates (at least semi-regularly). This update has a chart highlighting the volatile nature of resin pricing over the course of the year with starting and ending prices falling within a few cents of each other based on grade. The expectation going forward will be for continued price erosion as more of the new NA production capacity continues to hit the market. Should be another interesting year. See update here.
Resin continues to be difficult to source in the aftermath of Harvey's devastating impact in the Houston area. PE pricing continues to rise as a result, adding $0.03/lb initially with another $0.04/lb announced. Until normal operations resume at gulf area producers, resin availability and pricing will be uncertain. See the Plastics Exchange update here.
Per the Plastics Exchange, PE resin sales finished the month strong and continued to show strength through the July 4th holiday week. Perhaps buoyed by strengthening sales, some resin producers have nominated a $0.03/lb increase for August in spite of apparently ample supply and lackluster exports. Will be interesting to see if support firms up for this next increase. See full update here.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Marks Major Milestone of Its $6 Billion U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project
THE WOODLANDS, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (Chevron Phillips Chemical) announced today that the two polyethylene (PE) units of its $6 billion petrochemical investment on the U.S. Gulf Coast successfully achieved the major milestone of mechanical completion. The PE units are now undergoing a series of rigorous commissioning activities, system checks and final certifications to ensure a safe and reliable start-up, and consistent, high-quality production. Once operational, each PE unit will produce at least 500,000 metric tons of product annually.
See Business Wire article here.
Plastics Today, June 7, 2017 - Dow Chemical (Midland, MI) announced today completion of the construction phase of its new ELITE enhanced polyethylene (PE) production facility in Freeport, TX. The 400,000-metric-ton PE unit is the first of four new derivative investments, at a cost of approximately $6 billion, that the company is undertaking on the Gulf Coast.
See Plastics Today article here.
Although producers were able to push through the initial $0.03/lb of their announced $0.06, it appears the second $0.03 will be a tougher get given improving inventories and slower exports. Producers to date have implemented $0.08/lb however, creating real pressure on processor margins. See full Plastics Exchange update here.
It appears that PE prices have leveled after the additional $0.03/lb increase implemented in March (on top of the $0.05/lb added in February). Although not out of the question, the additional $0.03/lb still on the table for April seems less likely to occur. See the full Plastics Exchange update here.
PE pricing is still experiencing upward pressure after the Feb $0.05/lb increase has been fully implemented. Producers continue to push an additional $0.06 given still tight inventories of some PE resin grades. See the Plastics Exchange full update here.
ExxonMobil updated March PE increase letter with revised implementation dates.