- Feedstocks see 3-4 cent declines on day
- Demand remains strong in long term
The US recycled high-density polyethylene prices saw significant declines on the day Oct. 13, as many buyers take a wait-and-see approach amid uncertain market sentiment.
S&P Global Platts assessed natural post-consumer HDPE bales in the Midwest spot market down four cents on the day at 110 cents/lb, the lowest price seen since mid-July when prices hovered around 109 cents/lb. Lower pricing came on the back of indications received at value and offers heard in a wide range of 100-110 cents/lb.
Meanwhile, mixed-color HDPE post-consumer bales fell three cents on the day at 60 cents/lb, also slumping to the lowest level seen since July.
Sources attributed the decline in feedstock pricing to a temporary pause in buy activity. Multiple reclaimers said they are hesitant to place purchase orders ahead of an uncertain price outlook for November, adding that many municipalities still face limited trucking availability and labor shortages.
Additionally, some processing facilities are undergoing year-end maintenance turnarounds to prepare for the new year, added a source.
Downward price pressure, however, is expected to be short-lived as demand for material remains healthy in the long term.
"I believe demand is still strong, but this concerted effort is creating a short-term challenge to order flow," said a source referring to reclaimer efforts to keep prices stable to lower.
In the downstream market, natural blowmolding R-HDPE pellets fell two cents on the day to be assessed at 169 cents/lb, following a price decrease in the feedstock bale market.
In the virgin market, HDPE blowmolding was assessed at $1,720-$1,742/mt (78-79 cents/lb) Oct. 13, 50 points higher week on week with talk of railcar pricing talked in the 75-76 cents/lb range amid tight supply.