Ethylene was higher across Asia last week, with FOB Korea prices at $1030/tonne and CFR Northeast and Southeast Asia at $1100/tonne and $1090/tonne, respectively, according to Polymerupdate. Ethylene was tight, keeping buying interest active and overshadowing weakness in crude and naphtha.
Propylene prices also moved higher, with FOB Korea prices at $995/tonne, and CFR Taiwan, China, and Southeast Asia at $1050, $1050, and $1060/tonne, respectively. Polymerupdate reports that strength in propylene was triggered by a sudden rush by Japanese buyers to purchase cargoes. Steam-cracker shutdowns at Mitsubishi Chemical sites in Mizushima and Kashima, as well as a sudden shutdown of GS Caltex’s RFCC linked propylene plant at Yeosu, greatly tightened propylene supplies. An impending maintenance shutdown at Mitsui Chemical’s cracker further spurred buyers to market.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) prices finished higher last week on strength in upstream ethylene. Yarn-grade HDPE was at $1285/tonne CFR Far East Asia and $1295/tonne CFR Southeast Asia. HDPE injection molding grades rose to $1190/tonne CFR Far East Asia and $1195/tonne CFR Southeast Asia, with CFR South Asia prices at the $1170/tonne mark. HDPE film was assessed at $1295/tonne CFR Far East Asia, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1305/tonne. In plant news, Borouge reportedly lowered operating rates at its plant to between 70%-80% due to an ethylene shortage. Taiwan’s Formosa cut run rates at its Lin Yuan HDPE plant by 10-20%. Petlin’s 250,000-tonnes/yr HDPE/LLDPE swing plant in Malaysia remained shut even though it was scheduled to restart at the end June. In India, a fire at Haldia Petrochemicals forced its 300,000-tonnes/yr HDPE plant into a shutdown.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices firmed in Asia last week on the back of surging upstream ethylene prices and tight regional supply. General-purpose CFR Far East Asia LDPE prices were at $1250/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1260/tonne. In plant news, Malyasia’s PETLIN hasn’t yet restarted its LDPE plant in Kertih due to technical issues.
Polystyrene (PS) prices were up $40/tonne due to reports of tight avails for July and strength in styrene monomer. General-purpose PS prices were assessed up at $1200/tonne CFR China and $1240/tonne CFR Southeast Asia, with high-impact PS prices at $1250/tonne CFR China and $1300/tonne CFR Southeast Asia. —[email protected]