Polymerupdate European resin pricing, March 23-27: PP down, PE flat, and PS up

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April 02, 2009

Polypropylene (PP) March contract price settlements in Europe for homopolymer injection molding grades were down, settling at €790 to €800/tonne FD Northwest Europe, according to Polymerupdate. Copolymer prices were assessed at €830 to €840/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with prices weakening on softer propylene feedstock rates and reports of demand fatigue in the region. A trader contacted by Polymerupdate said that demand for PP is presently not robust in Europe, before adding, PP sellers may not drop spot offers due to increasing activity in Asian markets. In the spot market, PP homopolymer prices were stable at €700/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while copolymer prices were assessed at €750/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) general-purpose contract prices ended last week steady, with FD Northwest Europe prices assessed at €900/tonne. For the month of April, producers had targeted increases, citing strength in upstream ethylene values. SABIC Europe and Dow announced plans to hike PE prices by €80/tonne. LyondellBasell and Ineos announced increases of €50/tonne for April. In the spot market, FD Northwest Europe LDPE prices dropped to €790 to €800/tonne.

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) contract prices in Europe ended last week flat, with FD Northwest Europe prices assessed at €900/tonne. Spot prices slipped with FD Northwest Europe prices dropping to €770/tonne, a fall of €20/tonne from a week earlier.

Polystyrene (PS) contract prices in Europe bolted higher last week, with prices gaining due in part to producers’ determination to make up for falling margins on the back of steep gains recorded in upstream SM prices. Although demand for PS in Europe was not robust, general-purpose contract prices rose to €905/tonne FD Northwest Europe while high-impact contract prices hit €950/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Spot PS prices were down due to weak regional demand, and even a surge in PS prices in Asia failed to stir buying interest. Spot general-purpose prices in Europe dropped to €730/tonne FD Northwest Europe while high-impact spot prices were assessed at €775/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) contract prices for general purpose and natural grades were flat in Europe last week, holding steady at €1170 to €1180/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, prices edged up, rising along with SM, CAN, and butadiene feedstock prices. FD Northwest Europe spot prices for natural-grade and general-purpose ABS were assessed at €1055 to €1065/tonne, up sharply from €1020 to €1030/tonne FD recorded a week earlier.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) suspension-grade contract prices in Europe were flat last week at €715/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Most March contracts were reported at a rollover from February, although a few PVC producers claimed to have settled contracts at rates between €10 to €20/tonne higher. In the spot market, prices were unchanged from the week before with FD Northwest Europe at €530 to €560/tonne. [email protected]

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