Polymerupdate global resin pricing: Prices continue downward slide in Europe, Asia

October 05, 2008

 Polymerupdate (www.polymerupdate.com) reports that low-density polyethylene (LDPE) rates reduced in Asia on the basis of falling crude and weakening naphtha, which has pressured ethylene prices down. LDPE fell $10/tonne with offers to the Far East slashed to $1650/tonne CFR, with some offers for LDPE down to $1630/tonne CFR from regional producers, and some traders going as low as $1600/tonne CFR. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) prices were lower yet, hitting $1460/tonne CFR.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) film prices also slipped, dipping below $1500/tonne CFR to $1460/tonne CFR mark. Offers to China were heard down at the $1520/tonne CFR China mark. HDPE injection grades tumbled to below the $1450/tonne CFR China mark. In China, buying stagnated ahead of the National Day holidays, with Ramadan still affecting the Middle and Far Eastern countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. HDPE film prices today were down $30/tonne from last weeks assessed.

Polypropylene (PP) drifted lower with many traders keen to unwind their positions ahead of the China National Day holidays, according to Polymerupdate. PP injection is at $1440/tonne CFR Far East while PP raffia is being offered at $1440/tonne CFR.

Asian styrene monomer (SM) prices also fell, dropping more than $20/tonne with FOB Korea rates below $1350/tonne. Polymerupdate reports that demand in downstream polystyrene (PS) was sluggish, prompting producers of general-purpose and high-impact grades to further slash offers. General-purpose offers to China were heard below $1500/tonne CFR, while high-impact prices were seen at $1610/tonne CFR. Most buyers were convinced these prices were negotiable given the ample availability of PS in the region. Meanwhile acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices were also slipping, with offers to China tumbling more than $30/tonne. Offers from South Korea fell to $1960/tonne CFR.

In European pricing news, Polymerupdate reports that LDPE contract and spot prices dragged lower as ethylene feedstocks fell and demand remained sluggish. Contract prices fell to euro 1520/tonne FD North West Europe, while in the spot markets, prices dropped to euro 1350/tonne FD North West Europe. Corresponding falls in HDPE and LLDPE prices in Europe, as well as the threat of cheaper offers and ample availability from PE sellers in Asia kept pressure on LDPE.

Spot prices of LLDPE declined sharply as sales volumes slowed to a trickle and upstream ethylene plunged. Butene-grade LLDPE contract were assessed at euro 1535/tonne FD North West Europe, while in the spot markets, LLDPE fell to euro 1370/tonne FD North West Europe.

Ample HDPE supplies and muted demand pushed spot and contract prices sharply lower with HDPE injection molding grade contract prices at euro 1480/tonne FD North West Europe, and blowmolding-grade contract prices at euro 1500/tonne FD north West Europe. HDPE film-grade contract prices fell to euro 1470/tonne FD North West Europe.

In the spot markets, HDPE injection, blowmolding, and film-grade prices fell to euro 1340, euro 1310, and euro 1290/tonne FD North West Europe, respectively.

PP contract prices also fell, with homopolymer injection grades hitting euro 1315/tonne FD North West Europe, while copolymer contract prices fell to euro 1370/tonne FD North West Europe. In plant news, Domo Polypropylene declared force majeure on copolymer sales out of its Rozenburg unit in the Netherlands due to a technical problem with one of its compressors.

Europe’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) markets finished down, reacting to a steep fall in ethylene prices coupled with softer EDC and VCM feedstock prices. In the spot market, PVC prices fell to euro 870 to euro 880/tonne FD North West Europe. Bids for October were heard at euro 850/tonne FD North West Europe. PVC contract prices were unchanged at euro 1125/tonne FD North West Europe.

Contract prices of PS in Europe were assessed down, with general-purpose at euro 1530 to euro 1540/tonne FD North West Europe. High-impact contract prices were lower at euro 1585 to euro 1595/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot markets, general-purpose prices were assessed at euro 1290/tonne FD North West Europe while high-impact prices hit euro 1340/tonne FD North West Europe.

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