Factors including exchange rates, feedstock price increases, strong demand, poor availability and even storms in the US are pushing prices upward.
The speculation from the summer months of an upward trend for polymer prices for September appears to be have been well founded. It now looks likely that many factors of influence are likely to exert further pressure in the coming months. Furthermore, price inflation is extending well beyond the typically more sensitive polyolefin and styrene-based polymers through into some of the key engineering polymers, including materials such as POM and PC.
For the UK, exchange rates remain a major influence. Although there has been some improvement in the GPB vs USD rate (which has eased price pressure on materials such as ABS, POM, PC and PBT), the further devaluation of the GBP vs Euro is having a real influence on PS, PE and PP pricing, with every €0.01 drop resulting in an additional £10-£15 per tonne.
Although benzene costs were stable, moderate feedstock costs were implemented for the key C2 and C3 polyolefin feedstocks. Styrene monomer prices skyrocketed on the back of availability concerns resulting from storm Harvey, which necessitated the shutdown of US production capacity on the Gulf Coast, with the fear of damage causing long-term availability issues.
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