In early March, western European buyers of standard thermoplastics again faced widespread price hikes. However, in its current trend report, the newsletter Plastics Information Europe (PIE, Bad Homburg / Germany; www.pieweb.com) says the size of the hikes dwindled as feedstocks calmed. With former key cost driver ethylene stable, propylene and styrene rose.
Whichever way the feedstock went, producers are seizing the chance to improve margins, PIE notes. Led by PP with a EUR 60/t surge, all polymer prices rose in the months first third. PS added 50/t, while producers of PE, PVC and EPS managed smaller price gains.