Economic concerns drive down oil prices, and plastics follow suit

08/12/2011

The news of economic concern and stock market volatility thatare filling the headlines of newspapers and leading off TV news reports also has left its mark on the plastics industry, with more pronounced fluctuation in the prices of resins one of the immediate outcomes. Many of the plastics pricing changes are moving in tandem with the sharp recent fall in the price of oil.

In Asia, propylene costs started to react to the dramatic decreases of the last weeks in oil prices, which went below the $80/bbl threshold early this week and today (Aug 11) sat at about $83/barrel for WTI crude, down about $17/barrl in less than one month.

According to plastics pricing service ChemOrbis, the biggest reaction towards these decreases in oil prices occurred on Thursday (Aug.10) as spot propylene prices shed $80/ton on FOB Korea basis.

Spot propylene prices had started the month of August with increases of $220/ton when compared to July. In the first week of August, propylene prices had maintained that level, reported ChemOrbis, but then this week started with $20/ton decreases from last Friday. Then yesterday the largest drop in price occurred....
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