Average selling prices for PE slid 5 cents per pound in December, while PP prices tumbled 15 cents, according to buyers and sellers contacted by Plastics News. It’s the third consecutive 5-cent drop seen in the PE market. The October drop was the first seen in 17 months, as prices had jumped starting in early 2020 when pandemic-related demand couldn’t be met because of weather-related production outages.
Mike Burns, a PE market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, said that “warehouses are full [of PE], and exports can’t get out because of a lack of containers or other supply chain problems.”
Although PE prices dropped 15 cents in late 2021, the market finished the year up a net of 28 cents, according to the PN resin pricing chart.
Even with the late-year declines, PP prices are up a net of 39.5 cents since December 2020. North American PP supplies will be boosted in 2022 when Inter Pipeline Ltd.’s Heartland Petrochemical Complex brings more than 1 billion pounds of new capacity online in Strathcona County, Alberta.