IHS Chemical Week

Economics :: Prices

Polyethylene Prices Fall Amid Economic Woes

12:38 PM MST | December 19, 2008 | Lindsey Bewley

November polyethylene (PE) contract prices tumbled 24%, to 65 cts/lb, reflecting deteriorating consumer confidence and a weakening economic environment, market sources say. The rapid drop in contract prices declined faster than input costs, puncturing PE margins. “As the weakening economy curbs downstream demand, polyethylene buyers continue to focus on bringing prices into line with feedstock costs and with prices in other regions,” says David Begleiter, analyst at Deutsche Bank (New York). “Using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) as a proxy for...

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