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June Polyethylene Contracts Confirmed at 5-Cent Increase

North American Polyethylene (PE) producers successfully implemented June contract price increases of $.05/lb for all major product grades, continuing the upward pricing trend for a seventh consecutive month. The June price increase was driven by limited supply availability, strong buyer demand and higher spot prices.

Polyethylene contract prices have relentlessly increased 11 of the past 13 months, only pausing during October and November, before resuming its extended rally. Prices have risen some $.60/lb along the way.

Producers nominated the June price increases within a range of $.05-$.07/lb for various grades but later backed off from a $.07/lb increase for HDPE. Suppliers are still looking to implement additional PE contract price initiatives of $.03/lb-$.05/lb for July, as many of them remain on force majeure and/or sale allocation programs. PE contracts are typically settled towards the end of the month.

PE spot prices have gradually increased since May 2020 and catapulted to record highs during the first half of 2021 due to Winter Storm Uri in February and its impact on operations and logistics across the Polymer supply chain.

Spot activity slowed down last week ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend with price levels flat for all major grades, according to The Plastics Exchange. HDPE Blow Mold is the highest priced grade at $1.12/lb due to its scarcity. Most other grades are at a dollar or higher, with HMW Film is the exception being the lowest priced grade at $.94/lb.

By Brian Balboa for The Plastics Exchange.

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