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Commodities

Asian plastic prices climb on weak Chinese supply

Environmental regulations by Beijing squeeze production.

TOKYO -- Three of the most widely used plastic materials are becoming more expensive in Asia amid higher crude oil prices and stricter environmental regulations on factories in China.

Formosa Plastics' polyvinyl chloride resin for September shipment to Chinese customers rose to $930 per ton, up 6% from August and about 10% year on year. The Taiwanese supplier's price is used as a benchmark by South Korean, Japanese and other PVC producers that export throughout Asia. 

India and China continue to show strong demand for PVC, whose uses include window sashes and irrigation pipes. Tighter environmental regulations in China, however, have reduced operating rates at PVC plants there to roughly 70% compared with the 80% or so seen in typical years. Prices of the plastic are expected to continue to rise, according to Tokyo-based Taiyo Vinyl.

Polypropylene, used in food-packaging films, is also rising in price. As of mid-August, spot prices were up 6% from the prior month and 7% year on year at around $1,030 per ton. 

The price of high-density polyethylene, used to make plastic bags, has jumped 5% from the previous month to $1,105 a ton. 

(Nikkei)

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