2013 was a year that saw three substantial increases in the price of polyethylene resin. Going into 2014, many probably hoped for a breather, but along came another increase (on top of the 2013 increases) of another 4 cents per pound. Additionally, resin producers announced intentions of raising prices again on April 1 by another 6 cents per pound.

I’ve seen that many processors and converters have come out with increase announcements for their products as a result. We are all pretty much in the same boat. Raw material is raw material and, like the price of gasoline at the pump, there is little that can be done to resist it.

Right now we’ve seen the need to pass along prior increases through the March 2014 events. As for the April increase, we don’t really know for sure whether that will take hold or not. I have hopes that it won’t. According The Plastics Exchange, “PE contracts should manage steady in March and while it is still very early, we do not see how the market could take the $.06/lb increase nominated for April.” I would tend to agree with him and hope that market realities will hold things in check at this time.

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