Polymerupdate European resin pricing Jan. 26-30: Materials finish January flat ahead of planned February increases

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February 05, 2009

In European news, Polymerupdate reports that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contract prices fell sharply last week, with suspension-grade PVC prices at €710 to €730/tonne FD Northwest Europe, down from €790 to €820/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, FD Northwest Europe prices of PVC were assessed at €490 to €550/tonne. In the U.S. market, PVC sellers announced $0.05/lb hike for February prices following gains in ethylene settlements.

In advance of expected gains in February, polypropylene (PP) contract prices in Europe last week were flat at €750 to €760/tonne FD Northwest Europe for homopolymer injection grades. For PP copolymer grades, contract prices were assessed at €800 to €810/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, PP prices were also flat last week, with PP homopolymer spot prices assessed at €640 to €650/tonne FD Northwest Europe with PP copolymer at €690 to €700/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) contract prices in Europe last week were flat at €740 to €750/tonne FD Northwest Europe, but the outlook for February was bullish due to strength in upstream naphtha and ethylene rates. In the spot markets, LLDPE prices firmed to €710 to €720/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with prices expected to climb further this week. Dow Europe announced a €90/tonne hike for all PE grades, with Ineos proclaiming its own increase of €90/tonne and LyondellBasell targeting a hike of €100/tonne in February PE prices. SABIC Europe is reported to have nominated a €80/tonne increase.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices gained in Europe last week. In the contract markets, general-purpose prices rose to €740 to €750/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Spot LDPE prices were assessed higher from a week earlier at €720 to €730/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Polymerupdate reports that here too February’s outlook was bullish on account of strength in upstream naphtha and ethylene. Effective Feb. 1, a number of European producers announced price hikes in their polyethylene (PE) grades. Dow Europe announced a hike of €90/tonne for its PE grades while Ineos too announced an increase of €90/tonne in its PE prices. LyondellBasell last week announced a targeted hike of €100/tonne in its PE prices for February while SABIC Europe nominated a hike of €80/tonne for the month of February.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices fell in Europe, with general-purpose and natural-grade ABS contract prices dropping to €1185 to €1195/tonne FD north west Europe. Spot ABS prices were assessed at €890 to €900/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

Polymerupdate reports that European ABS producers plan defend their contracts for February at €1200/tonne FD Northwest Europe, in spite of lower-priced materials from overseas.

General-purpose polystyrene (GPPS) contract prices in Europe were flat last week at €835 to €845/tonne FD Northwest Europe. High-impact PS contract prices were seen at €890 to €900/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, GPPS prices were assessed at €760 to €770/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) was priced at €820 to €830/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Here too, prices are expected to rise, with an anticipated gain in styrene monomer (SM) contracts of €70/tonne on January settlements, with some forecasting a €100/tonne increase. For its part, Ineos Nova announced last week that its prices for all PS products in Europe would be increased by €75/tonne effective Feb. 1.

Upstream increases in key feedstocks like paraxylene (PX) are expected to push polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices higher in February. At the end of January, bottle-grade PET contract prices were assessed at €945 to €965/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, bottle-grade prices were assessed at €750 to €790/tonne FD Northwest Europe. A PX producer contacted by Polymerupdate was said to be targeting a hike of more than €40/tonne for February.—[email protected]

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