November 5, 2015 Updated 11/5/2015
North American selling prices for suspension PVC and PET bottle resin each ticked down a penny per pound in October, due in part to lower seasonal demand.
It’s the third straight 1-cent drop for PVC in the region. Sales of the material typically slow down as cooler temperatures slow construction, PVC’s largest end market. Prices now are down a net of 2 cents per pound so far in 2015.
In the first nine months of the year, U.S./Canadian PVC demand fell 1.4 percent, according to the American Chemistry Council. Export growth of more than 1 percent was canceled out by a 2.5 percent drop in sales to the domestic market.
Some domestic end markets have fared well in 2015 in spite of the overall softness in demand. Sales of PVC into wire and cable in the region have grown more than 7 percent in the nine-month period, while sales into siding and related uses are up more than 4 percent.
Third-quarter PVC sales at resin maker Axiall Corp. of Atlanta fell 4 percent to 648 million pounds vs. the same quarter in 2014. Axiall’s nine-month sales of chlorovinyls — including PVC and related products — slipped 22 percent to $ 1.94 billion.
Regional PET bottle resin prices also notched a 1-cent downturn in October. Prices for that material now have fallen for three consecutive months. The 1-cent October drop followed declines of 4 cents in August and 3 cents in September.
PET bottle resin prices now are down a net of 2 cents per pound so far in 2015. The market continues to struggle with resin overcapacity and with reduced demands for carbonated soft drinks, its largest end market.
Plastics News also this week is showing downward price corrections for several engineering resins. The corrections reflect lower feedstock prices that have affected regional and global markets since mid-2014, when prices for crude oil and related feedstocks began to see steep declines.
Prices for all grades of polycarbonate on the PN pricing chart are being corrected downward by 50 cents per pound. Nylon 6 and 6/6 prices are being corrected downward by 25 cents per pound, while average selling prices for polybutylene terephthalate are being corrected downward by 15 cents per pound.