Polymerupdate Asian resin pricing, May 18-22: PE, PP, PS, and ABS fall; PVC rises

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices dropped in Asia last week as demand dwindled, according to Polymerupdate, with buyers in China leading the retreat. CFR Far East Asia LDPE dropped to $1170-$1180/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1180/tonne. In China, prices dropped by RMB 200/tonne, quoting at RMB 9300 to RMB 9350/tonne ex work. Buyers polled by Polymerupdate said large-volume arrivals of competitively priced deep-sea LDPE cargoes from Europe further dampened the regional buying mood.

Polypropylene (PP) prices also ended lower in Asia last week, with buying sentiment turning bearish across much of the region. CFR Far East Asia prices for PP injection and raffia grades fell to $1070/tonne, with CFR Far East Asia falling to $1150/tonne. CFR Southeast Asia raffia and injection prices were assessed at $1075/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia film at $1150/tonne. Helping push the market lower were anticipated large volumes of deep-sea cargo arrivals in Asia from July onward. In India, producers lowered PP prices by Rs 5/kg basic, while in China, PP dropped by RMB 350/tonne. In South Asia, injection and raffia prices fell to $1090/tonne CFR, while PP film settled at $1180/tonne CFR.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices finished higher in Asia, rising on gains in upstream vinyl chloride monomer coupled with reports of tight supplies in China. CFR China prices rose to $750/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia at $740-$750/tonne. Taiwan’s Formosa quoted from $770-$780/tonne CFR China for June PVC—a $40/tonne increase from May.

Polystyrene (PS) fell, with general-purpose grades at $960-$970/tonne CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia at $960-$970/tonne. High-impact PS prices on a CFR China basis fell to $1060-$1070/tonne, with CFR Southeast Asia prices at $1070/tonne. A trader contacted by Polymerupdate said soft buying trends may drag PS prices down a further $30 to $50/tonne in June, but producers will resist dropping their prices much further since their margins are already squeezed.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices also fell in Asia, as demand across the region waned. CFR China ABS prices fell to $1310-$1320/tonne. National buying was below $1300/tonne CFR China. A trader told Polymerupdate that the lagging demand can be tied to a slowdown in finished-products demand, with the end of season drawing near for products like refrigerators. The market is weighing potential government subsidies for items like automobiles and appliances, so that, for example, a Chinese citizen looking to replace his washing machine, computer, refrigerator, etc., would receive a 10% subsidy of the total cost from the government. [email protected]

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