Like many other industries, the polyethylene market has its ups and downs. As costs to produce the versatile material go up, so goes the price for manufacturers and consumers. 

While many of these fluctuations are determined by random events, such as the weather or unexpected interruptions, the price of polyethylene follows certain market trends that predictably affect the supply chain. 

Let’s explore the factors that can affect polyethylene prices and what it ultimately means for you as a consumer of polyethylene products like polybags.

Recent Polyethylene Price Trends

Significant events may affect many polyethylene pricing factors at once, leading to upward or downward trends. Two recent examples are increased sustainability efforts and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sustainability Efforts

The United States government is pushing consumers toward renewable resources, which has limited supply and added costs to purchasing materials like polyethylene. This effort has mostly caused polyethylene prices to rise, accommodating for added production costs. 

However, we have also seen sporadic price drops when suppliers are attempting to sell off a large inventory of the material or products made with it.

Interested in a more sustainable polybag solution? Check out our NuPlastiQ® plant-based technology.

Global Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for single-use plastics and polyethylene products, as they provided a more sanitary option. As demand went up, supply went down as producers raced to fill orders and secure the materials they needed for their products. 

This led to a significant increase in polyethylene prices for manufacturers and consumers, and we’re still feeling some affects of it.

How to Choose the Right Poly Bag to fit your needs cta

Factors That Affect the Price of Polyethylene

While there are many factors that affect polyethylene costs, four remain the most prominent. 

1. Raw Material Price

When crude oil, additives, or other materials used to make polyethylene resin become more or less available, the cost of producing the resin changes. To cover potential losses, manufacturers can make up the difference by purchasing raw materials at a higher price and then recovering the cost from consumers.

2. Polyethylene Demand

The demand for polyethylene and products made from it can increase or reduce demand locally, nationally, and internationally. As explained earlier in the article, a push for plastic alternatives may reduce demand for polyethylene, while a greater need for sanitary, single-use packaging could mean a significant demand for polyethylene. 

Polyethylene prices will increase significantly if there’s a high demand, and prices may be especially high if there’s also a low supply.

3. Polyethylene Producer Inventory

Similar to demand, the supply of polyethylene available will affect its market rate. If there’s a surplus of polyethylene at the end of the year, producers may offer their product at a discount to reduce inventory in the new year. Similarly, a low supply may cause demand to be higher, increasing polyethylene prices for manufacturers and consumers.

4. Manufacturer Delays & Interruptions

Interruptions in the production, transportation, or manufacturing of polyethylene and polyethylene products could cause supply and demand consequences that raise prices. If the production of polyethylene resin shuts down for any reason or weather delays a shipment of materials, the price of polyethylene may go up suddenly.

understanding the market price of polyethylene

What Polyethylene Price Fluctuations Mean for Us & You

Although some of the above factors are difficult to predict, some polyethylene price trends can be anticipated by manufacturers and consumers, allowing them to order polyethylene at the right time and at the right price.

If you’re a small business at the mercy of fluctuating polyethylene prices, you might not be able to keep up with the constantly changing factors of the industry. It can be a headache to follow trends and know when and how much to buy to keep costs stable for you and your customers. At A-Pac Manufacturing, we’re here to help you.

We supply high-quality polyethylene packaging solutions at transparent prices — plus a fast delivery time guarantee! Because at the end of the day, investing in a trustworthy partnership with a polyethylene bag supplier is what can provide the greatest return.

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