PIE Polymer Price Reports- May 2022
Monthly report published by Plastics Information Europe:
- Resin prices move higher
- With feedstocks rising, no plateau is in sight
- Imports help to ease glass fibre tightness
The enormous rise in the price of principal ortho resins feedstock styrene and the spectre of a tightening market drove notations steeply upward again in May. Even large accounts were “treated” to increases, though mostly at the bottom of the PIE range.
Since March, the styrene reference contract has added EUR 543/t. Adding to the misery are energy surcharges, which have been factored into prices gradually over the past several months. The other feedstocks and intermediates, maleic- and phthalic acid anhydride, along with propylene glycol, have shown no sign of getting any cheaper, either.
Supply levels hovered around the low end of normal. Procuring standard grades was mostly not a problem, but top-up volumes were hard to come by. All in all, there was just enough material in the market to fill contract orders, even if converters said some products were on allocation.
The styrene contract for June was fixed EUR 16/t higher, which actually points to a slower rate of increase than was seen last month. Nevertheless, it may be enough to keep ortho resins pointing upward, as reports suggest that the high energy prices have not been completely accounted for in selling prices.
Price movements for glass fibre products were uneven last month. While notations for standard grade chopped strand mats gave way slightly as more imports flowed into the market, the high-end grades saw increases.
Anticipation of the revamp of a furnace in Slovakia over several months could be driving these products as well as assembled roving higher. Whether the operators built up sufficient inventories for the duration is unclear. Another harbinger of higher prices for the latter two products could be that not all sellers have passed on all of their higher energy costs.
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