The Week in Chemistry: US PE spot prices flat, PP prices up US$0.02/lb for week of Jan. 16; US PET imports hit 1.33 million tonnes in January-November 2022, Europe rPET prices ease from 2022 highs as large brands cut ambitious recycled packaging targets

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LOS ANGELES , January 27, 2023 () –


US Resins

US domestic PE prices were flat during the week of January 16 after gaining during the previous week. Meanwhile, PP prices increased by another US$0.02/lb amid rising propylene monomer costs.

PE producers may reclaim their pricing advantage in the coming weeks amid tighter market conditions, including two force majeures that have particularly impacted HDPE.

Producers are seeking contract increases of $0.05-$0.07/lb.

Meanwhile, PP producers will likely push for increases of $0.10-$0.15/lb, supported by increased input costs. Spot prices gained another $0.02/lb in the week of January 16, bringing the month’s total to $0.08/lb.

Polymer-grade propylene spot was behind the rising PP prices, rising $0.10/lb in a single week. Since mid-October, spot polymer-grade propylene has increased by 100%.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


US PET Trading

PET imports into the US totaled 1.33 million tonnes in the first 11 months of 2022, an increase of 12.6% year-over-year, according to data released by U.S. Customs.

By value, 2022 imports totaled US$2.1B, about double the $1.01B in 2021.

Mexico accounted for 281,911 tonnes, or 21.2%, of PET imports into the US, followed by Taiwan, 230,007 tonnes, and Oman, 212,361 tonnes.

Domestic US prices for PET resin ranged $0.84-$0.89/lb in mid-January.

The primary source of this information is Petrochem Wire by OPIS.


Europe rPET

Countries in Europe could achieve the EU recycled plastics targets by 2025, according to Petcore Europe executive.

The EU plastics directive requires PET bottles to be comprised of 25% recycled plastic material by 2025. As of 2020, average PET bottle collection rates in Europe were sufficient to reach 23% recycle-based PET bottles.

Meanwhile, the EU’s 2030 targets for 30% recycled material could be challenging for some countries in Eastern Europe where collection rates are lower.

Prices for rPET clear flake were assessed at €2,150/tonne FD NWE on June 30, 2022 before declining to €1,500/tonne by December 30.

In contrast, virgin PET hit €1,730/tonne on July 6, 2022, before declining to €1,280/tonne by January 4, 2023.

The moderating of rPET prices was partly related to large brands reducing some of their more ambitious targets for recycled content in packaging.

The primary source of this information is S&P Global Platts.

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