High-density polyethylene (HDPE) prices rose in Asia last week, according to Polymerupdate, with injection molding grades hitting $1140/tonne CFR Far East Asia and HDPE film prices at $1220/tonne CFR Far East Asia. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, HDPE injection and film prices were assessed at $1150/tonne and $1230/tonne, respectively. Polymerupdate reports that prices rose as buying interest increased, with many buyers looking to lock in resin now in the face of a surge in global crude, naphtha, and ethylene feedstock. In China, domestic HDPE prices rose between RMB 300 to RMB 400/tonne last week. In plant news, Sinopec’s Fujian Refining is expected to start commercial output at its 400,000-tonnes/year HDPE plant next month, while Saudi Arabia’s Petro Rabigh has commenced trial runs at its HDPE film and blowmolding units, with commercial sales expected by the end July. Elsewhere, Equate started production at its new 225,000-tonnes/year HDPE plant in Shuaiba on June 8.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices surged in parts of Asia last week, rising in line with gains in crude rates, naphtha, and ethylene. General-purpose LDPE prices were flat in the Far East at $1160/tonne CFR, while CFR Southeast Asia prices rose to $1180/tonne. Chinese activity increased as processors returned from their Dragon Boat Festival holiday and looked to replenish inventories. Domestic LDPE prices in China rose RMB 300/tonne to RMB 9500/tonne ex-works basis. In plant news, Iran’s Laleh Petrochemical expects to hit full capacity at its new LDPE plant by the end of June.
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) markets also firmed last week, with prices gaining by $10-$20/tonne, as CFR Far East Asia prices reached $1115/tonne. CFR Southeast Asia prices rose to $1160/tonne, with CFR South Asia LLDPE at $1170/tonne. Here again, as upstream contributors surged, buyers moved to lock in resin ahead of further gains, with Polymerupdate seeing inventory-replenishing activity throughout Southeast Asia, Vietnam, and India. In plant news, Sharq reportedly restarted its Al Jubail LLDPE line after an unplanned May 18 outage. Petro Rabigh’s LLDPE plant faced a delay in startup due to feedstock-supply issues.
Polypropylene (PP) prices also rose in Asia last week, with CFR Far East Asia injection and raffia prices at $1050/tonne and CFR Southeast Asia hitting $1070/tonne. PP film prices showed some weakness due to a seasonal lull, with CFR Far East Asia rates assessed at $1090/tonne and CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1100/tonne. In plant news, India’s Reliance Industries increased run rates at its new PP line in Jamnagar, Gujarat to 100%. Reports indicated that a second PP line would be online by late July or early August. Taiwan’s Formosa suffered an outage at one of its lines in Ningbo, China, affecting 180,000 tonnes/year of PP capacity until mid June.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) edged higher in Asia last week as prices firmed on rising crude, prompting a speculative purchasing push. CFR China PVC prices rose to $780/tonne, while CFR Southeast Asia prices hit $780/tonne. A PVC seller contacted by Polymerupdate said his July delivery offers are up to $810-$820/tonne CFR China, with offers to India at similar levels. Pre-monsoon Indian demand has been robust with PVC deals concluded at $790/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva.
Polystyrene (PS) prices rose across Asia, with general-purpose grades reaching $1030/tonne CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia assessed at $1030/tonne. High-impact prices rose to $1120/tonne CFR China mark, and CFR Southeast Asia prices achieved $1120/tonne. Despite a $70/tonne gain in general-purpose prices, producers are still contending with negative margins due to high input costs. A PS buyer told Polymerupdate that his PS stocks had run out last week, forcing the company to replenish its inventories, but volatility in the market meant it would not risk further purchases.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices in Asia were on the rise last week, climbing more than $20/tonne. CFR China ABS prices hit $1335/tonne, while CFR Southeast Asia prices rose to $1335/tonne. An ABS buyer told Polymerupdate his company was not entirely convinced that price gains will be sustainable since finished product orders for electronic products and home appliances are generally weak. —[email protected]