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Plastics Market Update - March 2021 Recap

The story of plastics market shortages continue and even amplified in March, as the consequences of Storm Uri continued to significantly reduce US supply of resin. The storm shook up the market, affecting the production of almost every resin and feedstock made in the Gulf Coast and into Texas.  While these production sites are now starting back up, it could be late in Q2 before they can get back to pre-storm production levels.

Most every resin maker has announced force majeures on their products, extended delivery times and increased prices. These increases on price are expected to continue through April.

While these shortages are being felt across the supply chain, it was not only in regard to resins. In mid-March we began to see shortages to corrugated paper, PP straps and glue for packaging as well, leading to companies having to shift their product’s packaging options.

Asian markets, seeing what’s going on in North America, have also issued price increases to head off the global market tightness.

Announcements in March

Below are some of the price increases, lead time extensions, and other shortage-related announcements we saw in March:

3/1/21

  • Teijin announced an increase of $1 USD/kg ($.45/lb) on Panlite PC in Asia.

3/4/21

  • Ineos announced a $.15/lb increase on Terluran and standard ABS Lustran, to go into effect on 3/15.

3/8/21

  • Sabic announced a $.20/kg ($.09/lb) increase to Cycolac ABS, effective 4/1/21
  • A large Asian importer has raised their prices on the upwards of $.45/lb for new orders after 3/15/21
  • Modern Dispersion, a NA compounder and masterbatch manufacturer, announced increases ranging from $.06 – $.22 on black concentrate (effective immediately).

3/11/21

  • Thermoplastic colorant provider Colors for Plastic shifted to shipping finished products in “good-used” packaging due to corrugated packaging shortages.

3/13/21

  • Lead time extensions, not accounting for shipping, have been announced on the following products:
    • LG Chem                     20 – 24 weeks
      • All Products                                       
    • LG MMA                      20 – 22 weeks
      • LG PMMA               
    • Idemitsu                                                    20 weeks
      • Tarflon® PC   
    • Korea Engineering Plastics                        20 weeks
      • Kepital® Acetal Copolymer             
      • Kepital® Acetal Homopolymer       
    • Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics                 20 – 24 weeks
      • Novaduran® PBT                             
      • Lupital® POM                                     
      • Lupilon® PC                                       
    • LANXESS                                                     20 weeks
      • POCAN®* PBT                                 
      • Durethan®* B                                    (*European produced grades only)
    • Huntsman                                                    12 – 18 weeks
      • Irogran®*                                                       
      • Avalon®*                                           (*International produced grades only)
    • Sabic                                                              18 weeks
      • All PC                                                                              
    • SK Chemical                                                 20 – 22 weeks
      • All Products                                       
    • Evonik                                                            16 – 22 weeks
      • Vestamid®                                         
      • Trogamid®                                         
      • VESTAKEEP®                                 
    • Polene Plastics                                            16 weeks – 18 Weeks
      • Polene® EVA                                    
    • Toray                                                              20 – 22 weeks
      • Toyolac® ABS                                  
    • Chi Mei                                                          14 – 16 weeks
      • Polyrex® Polystyrene                                  
      • Kibiton® SBC                                    
    • Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp         14 – 16 weeks
      • TAIRIREX® Polystyrene                 
    • Formosa Plastics Corporation                   14 – 16 weeks
      • TAISOX® EVA 

3/15/21

  • Ineos announced a shift to multiple types of shipping packages, including non-stackable boxes which reduces the amount shipped in full truckloads (with each containing around 4,000 less pounds per truck).

3/25/21

  • Asian suppliers, in an effort to get ahead of the shortness they see in the NA market, announce increases across product lines:
    • Cycolac resins            $.50/kg ($0.23/lb)
    • Geloy resins                $1.00/kg ($0.45/lb)
    • Lexan  resins              $1.20/kg ($0.55/lb)
    • Cycoloy resins            $1.20/kg ($0.55/lb)
    • Xylex resins                $2.00/kg ($0.91/lb)
    • Valox, Xenoy resins               
      • Filled                     $2.00/kg ($.91/lb)
      • Unfilled                  $2.50/kg ($1.13/lb)

The increase letter concluded with an open-ended statement regarding additional costs for specific grades, to be communicated separately, meaning surcharges as well!

Looking into May

Looking ahead, ABS costs are projected to keep rising as the market shortages and material tightness continues.  We expect to see these conditions continue through April and into May, with the hope that the FM’s from February begin to come to an end in mid-Q2 2021.

Do you have any questions about the plastics market or about availability of a particular material? Contact us!

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