Price know-how October 2017

The major driver of feedstock costs in September was mainly related to the aftermath of storms affecting the US Gulf Coast, and in particular the impact of storm ‘Harvey’ in the Texas region.

The major driver of feedstock costs in September was mainly related to the aftermath of storms affecting the US Gulf Coast, and in particular the impact of storm ‘Harvey’ in the Texas region.

The styrene monomer price correction is possibly the most insightful. The price turbulence relates to the fact that as a room temperature liquid this is a relatively easy product to transport compared to ethylene and propylene, which are gases at room temperature and therefore require highly specialised transportation. On this basis, styrene monomer is traded on a more global basis and hence the sensitivity of price to significant events.

The C3 price movement is in line with C2 and largely this be related to further increases in crude oil prices, although the less aggressive increase than that announced in September would suggest slightly weaker fundamentals. As always, the translation of these input costs into polymer pricing will be strongly influenced by the supply/demand balance for these materials. Here there is increasing suggestion that the market in Asia has peaked and for the last few weeks there appears to be a glass ceiling affecting most standard polymers.

However, there are exceptions and the most significant is PMMA where MMA monomer and PMMA shortages continue to push prices ever higher.

No doubt the market sentiment at the end of October will be highly influential on what direction the market takes in November and many will already have the short month of December in mind.

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A monthly publication looking at key factors that affect UK polymer markets.

The concept of a user friendly market report came from feedback about an article published in PRW (Plastics & Rubber Weekly) about the 2011 market outlook to which Plastribution made a significant contribution.

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