Polymerupdate Asian resin pricing, July 20-24: PE, PVC, ethylene drop; PS up

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices dropped across Asia, tracking the decline in upstream ethylene, according to Polymerupdate. Ethylene fell by roughly $40/tonne week on week, pushing CFR Far East Asia LDPE prices to $1265/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1275/tonne. An LDPE seller told Polymerupdate that Chinese demand remains dull, with local LDPE priced at $1200/tonne and below and contact’s offers to China starting the week at $1290/tonne CFR mark with offers from other producers at $1300/tonne and higher. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) film prices were assessed at $1270/tonne CFR Far East Asia, with linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) at $1265/tonne CFR Far East Asia.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices declined in some parts of Asia last week, with sluggish buying interest in China seen as a prime reason behind the drop. PVC fell by about $10/tonne following three months of gains, with CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia PVC at $910/tonne. PVC producers kept their offer prices for August at $950/tonne CFR and higher.

Polystyrene (PS) prices firmed in Asia, with rates gaining as regional buying interest improved. General-purpose PS hit $1175/tonne CFR China, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1195/tonne. High-impact PS rose to $1240/tonne CFR China, with CFR southeast Asia prices at $1275/tonne.

Propylene prices finished up in Asia last week, gaining about $20/tonne from the week before with FOB Korea prices at $1020/tonne while FOB Japan prices were at $1010/tonne. CFR China propylene prices were assessed at $1055/tonne, with CFR southeast Asia at $1065/tonne. In plant news, Taekwang’s propylene plant in South Korea was down following a power outage last Tuesday.

Ethylene prices in Asia declined as demand continues to weaken. CFR northeast Asia prices were assessed at $1040/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1010/tonne. The drop in ethylene prices impacted downstream producer margins, including makers of styrene monomer (SM) and PE. In plant news, Shanghai’s Secco restarted its 1.09 million tonnes/year cracker while ethylene exports from Iran to southeast Asia also improved.

In the downstream markets CFR Far East Asia basis,, HDPE film prices were assessed at $1270/tonne, LDPE prices were assessed at $1265/tonne, and prices of LLDPE were assessed up at $1265/tonne.

Styrene monomer (SM) prices were under pressure as Asian avails rose.

The pricing undertone in Asian SM turned bearish on Tuesday, with local China prices dropping about RMB 150/tonne and FOB Korea SM prices at $1050 to $1055/tonne. In plant news, Jilin Petrochemical Co. broke ground on a refinery expansion for its SM and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) facilities. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2011, lifting SM output to 460,000 tonnes/year, with ABS capacity to be increased to 580,000 tonnes/year. Elsewhere, LG Chem announced it has set up a 50:50 JV with CNOOC to build a 300,000 tonnes/year ABS unit in Southern China, with startup expected by 2013. [email protected]

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