Polymerupdate European resin pricing, June 1-5: Contract increases proposed for PP, PE, and PVC, with spot gains in PS and ABS

Polypropylene (PP) producers in Europe are targeting price hikes for June contracts, according to Polymerupdate, seeking increases on the basis of higher propylene contract prices. The hikes varied by the sellers, ranging from €50-€70/tonne, and although buyers will resist the increases, producers seem confident they can achieve the hikes on the basis of strength in upstream products and gains in PP in the U.S. and Asia. PP injection molding contract prices were flat last week at €810/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with copolymer prices at €850/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, PP homopolymer prices settled at €710/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with copolymer prices at €760/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) injection contract prices were reported at €900/tonne FD Northwest Europe with HDPE film contracts at €850/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, HD injection prices were assessed at €770/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with film at €760/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Sellers polled by Polymerupdate reported that while local demand was picking up slightly due to rising ethylene-feedstock costs and firmer crude and naphtha rates, overseas inquiries were in decline. The drop in export interest was attributed to the rising strength of the euro against the U.S. dollar, with the European currency hitting a 2009 high against the greenback last week.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) general-purpose contract prices were flat last week at €910/tonne FD Germany, with FD Italy prices at €905/tonne. In spite of this, producers polled by Polymerupdate claim to have achieved some increases, with one producer confirming settling June LDPE contracts at €920/tonne FD.

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) contract prices were flat last week, but spot prices marched higher. FD Northwest Europe prices were assessed at €890/tonne, unchanged from the week before, but LLDPE producers remain committed to raising rates in line with gains in upstream ethylene. In the spot market, FD Northwest Europe LLDPE spot prices rose to €790/tonne. These gains were attributed to rising ethylene feedstock costs, strength in crude, higher naphtha, and an increase in Asian and U.S. LLDPE prices.

Polystyrene (PS) prices raced higher in Europe last week, with gains recorded in contract and spot markets. General-purpose contracts rose to €1025/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with high-impact prices at €1070/tonne. In the spot market, general-purpose prices rose to €855/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with high-impact prices at €900/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Here, too, price gains were triggered by firmer crude, naphtha, and ethylene prices, in addition to increases in benzene and styrene monomer (SM), with FOB Rotterdam SM prices €915/tonne last Friday. BASF announced an €80/tonne increase for its general-purpose product, effective June 1.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices gained in Europe last week, as prices climbed on the back of firmer feedstocks. General-purpose and natural-grade ABS contract prices rose to €1220/tonne FD Northwest Europe, a gain of €10/tonne from the previous week. In the spot market, ABS prices were up to €1045/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In spite of these gains, a trader contacted by Polymerupdate said overall demand for ABS in Europe is not very encouraging.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices were unchanged, with suspension-grade PVC contract prices at €730/tonne FD Germany and FD Italy prices at €725/tonne. In the spot market, prices were also flat at €580/tonne FD Northwest Europe. A spike in ethylene contracts last month prompted PVC producers to announce increases of €100-€120/tonne. A poll of producers found that although they weren’t successful in achieving the increases, they would continue to push the hike in a bid to regain lost margins.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) ended last week steady, with contract bottle-grade prices at €1170/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, prices were reported at €960/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Given that the peak summer season had already arrived, local traders believed buying momentum in PET bottle-grade resin was tipped toward a slowdown. PET was also impacted by strength in the euro against the dollar and weakness in Asian PET prices. In Asia, FOB prices were at $1040/tonne; during the end of April, PET prices in Asia had peaked at $1130/tonne FOB. [email protected]

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