North American PET bottle resin, solid PS prices down an average US$0.05/lb. and US$0.03/lb., respectively, since Nov. 1 on weaker demand, lower feedstock prices; PS, PET bottle resin prices still higher by 14% and 11%, respectively, since Jan. 1

LOS ANGELES , December 16, 2011 () –

Polyethylene terephthalate bottle resin prices and solid polystyrene prices in the North American market have fallen since the beginning of November as demand near the end of the year for both materials weakens, Plastics News reported Dec. 15.

Buyers told Plastics News that PS prices were down on average US$0.03 per pound during the period. General purpose PS was down a little less while high-impact was down a bit more than $0.03/lb.

The decline comes on the heels of an October decline of $0.06/lb that was due to a combination of lower prices for benzene feedstock and soft demand, Plastics News reported. The $0.06/lb. decline reflected an 18% drop month-over-month.

Sharper declines in price for feedstock butadiene has led to sharper declines in prices for HIPS, according to Stacy Shelly of Fort-Worth, Texas-based Resin Technologies Inc. and PS market analyst for Plastics News. Butadiene prices in North America dropped roughly 18% last month, Shelly noted. December butadiene prices have already seen a 13% decline which could lead to further declines in HIPS prices.

Despite drops in prices in the fourth quarter for PS, prices are still hovering approximately 14% higher than at the start of the year, Plastics News noted.

Meanwhile, prices for PET in the North American market have dropped an average of $0.05/lb. since the beginning of November, following a $0.02/lb. decline in October. Both declines came amid softening demand as winter weather generally leads to less consumption of carbonated beverages and bottled water. Adding to PET market woes is the dearth of conversions from metal, glass and other materials to PET this year. Finally, lower prices for feedstock paraxylene contributed to downward pressure on PET prices.

Despite fourth quarter declines in PET prices in the North American market, prices still hover at around 11% over where they were on Jan. 1, Plastics News reported.

The primary source of this article is Plastics News, Akron, Ohio, Dec. 15, 2011.


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