Polymerupdate European resin pricing, Sept. 21-25: PP down; ABS up; LDPE, LLDPE, PS, PVC, and PET flat

Polypropylene (PP) spot prices dropped in Europe last week, according to Polymerupdate, falling as buyers still awaited the October settlement price for propylene. Spot homopolymer fell to Euro 985/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with copolymer at Euro 1035/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Contract prices of PP injection rose to Euro 1085/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with PP copolymer contracts at Euro 1135/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, prices declined, with homopolymer at Euro 985/tonne FD Northwest Europe and copolymer prices at Euro 1035/tonne FD Northwest Europe. The fall off came in the face of weaker demand locally and bearish cues from Asia and the Middle East.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
contract prices were unchanged at Euro 1130 to Euro 1140/tonne FD Northwest Europe and FD Italy.  In the spot market, LDPE general-purpose grades declined to Euro 1015 to Euro 1025/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Despite relatively low stocks, LDPE sellers were forced to drop their rates due to weak buyer interest and bearish sentiments from LDPE markets across Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S. A poor outlook for European ethylene prices in October also wielded downward pressure on spot LDPE rates.

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)
contract prices were steady while spot prices fell in Europe. LLDPE contracts were unchanged at Euro 1130/tonne FD Northwest Europe, but spot LLDPE adjusted downwards to Euro 1015 to Euro 1025/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Sluggish buying sentiments continued to weigh on the market, which fell further on bearish outlooks for ethylene feedstock in October.

Polystyrene (PS)
contract prices were flat last week, with general-purpose (GPPS) at Euro 1205/tonne FD Northwest Europe, and high-impact (HIPS) staying at Euro 1260/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, GPPS slipped to Euro 1010/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with HIPS prices flat at Euro 1060/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In plant news, Ineos Nova reportedly closed its 90,000 tonnes/yr PS plant at Breda, the Netherlands due to overcapacity. Other supporting factors included weak margins, sluggish demand, and significant feedstock volatility.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
contract prices rose in Europe last week, with general-purpose and natural-grade ABS at Euro 1435 to Euro 1445/tonne FD Northwest Europe and FD Italy. A source told Polymerupdate that prices settled up Euro 30 to Euro 40/tonne compared to August settlements, instead of the Euro 50/tonne that was sought. Spot ABS prices declined, with general purpose and natural grades at Euro 1095 to Euro 1105/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
prices in Europe were unchanged last week at Euro 960 to Euro 970/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, some improvement was recorded in demand allowing sellers to raise PVC offer prices, with FD Northwest Europe spot prices of PVC suspension grade rising to Euro 850 to Euro 870/tonne. A PVC seller contacted by Polymerupdate explained that actual user stocks of PVC have been exhausted, and there is a need to restock, especially since Europe’s construction industry is beginning to show early signs of a recovery. Regional avails of PVC are set to increase with Ineos lifting the force majeure at its 460,000 tonnes/yr vinyl chlorine monomer (VCM) plant at Rafnes, Norway.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) contract prices were assessed at Euro 1185 to Euro 1205/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with spot prices at Euro 920 to Euro 940/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Buying interest remained weak, with the market at the end of the peak warm-weather cold-drinks season. PET producers are struggling with margins, unable to pass on higher costs for key feedstock monoethylene glycol (MEG). Several producers did nominate higher target prices for September, with increases ranging from Euro 50 to Euro 70/tonne, before settling for more modest increases following a rollover in paraxylene (PX) feedstock prices for September. Competitively priced offers from Asia and the Middle East, also kept pressure on European PET. [email protected]

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