The Relative Price of Plastic in 2024

Plastic Supply Chain

The Best Time to Buy Advanced Engineering Plastics

The plastics industry has seen significant price fluctuations over the past decade, making it crucial to continually keep a close eye on market conditions. If you’re considering purchasing advanced plastics like thermoset composites, now is the optimal time to learn more about the driving forces and how pricing of plastic has changed over time.

Factors Influencing Plastic Prices

Several factors directly impact the cost of plastics, influencing prices for distributors, fabricators, and OEM customers. While the following is certainly not an exhaustive list, it does provide some insight into the range of forces that can drive the price of plastics in directions that may be positive or negative.

  • Feedstock Costs: Fluctuations in the prices of crude oil, natural gas, and other raw materials directly affect plastic production costs.
  • Supply and Demand: Production outages, both planned and unplanned, and varying demand across industries can cause price imbalances.
  • Economic Conditions: Global economic growth or slowdowns can also significantly influence demand and pricing for plastics.

According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Consumer Price Index, plastic prices have decreased by 15% over the past year, a decline presenting a unique opportunity to purchase plastics now that are at much lower costs than in recent years. Understanding what drove fluctuations can offer an opportunity to plan accordingly and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

Early 2010s: Prices were stable due to balanced supply-demand dynamics and moderate feedstock costs.

2014-2018: A downward trend in prices occurred, driven by the shale gas boom in the United States, reducing feedstock costs for ethylene and propylene.

2018-2019: Prices rose due to tightening supply from production outages and increased demand from a recovering global economy.

2020: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains and temporarily decreased demand, leading to a price decline.

2021-2022: Prices surged to record highs, fueled by supply chain disruptions, rising energy costs, and increased demand as economies reopened.

2023: Prices began to moderate as supply chains stabilized and demand softened due to economic uncertainties.

Take Advantage of the Market Conditions Today

The recent stabilization in supply chains has created a rare window of opportunity for purchasing advanced plastics like thermoset composites. By acting now, you can secure your materials at a lower cost, ensuring better margins and more competitive pricing for your business in the future.

This favorable market condition won’t last forever of course! Place your order for thermoset composite plastic today to capitalize on the opportunity today!

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