Polymerupdate global resin pricing: Some price increases seen in spot, contract markets

Polymerupdate (www.polymerupdate.com) reports that polypropylene (PP) prices were steady to firm, boosted by higher upstream propylene prices, good demand, and limited availability. PP raffia and injection grade prices were assessed at $810/tonne CFR Far East while PP film prices were assessed at $850/tonne CFR. Block copolymer prices were reported at $840/tonne CFR Far East. Polymerupdate has learned that Middle Eastern producers, including Tasnee, have reportedly increased their offers to South Asia, with the mark ups supported by reports of a shutdown at Oman PP and unconfirmed news of a delay in a large parcel PP shipment to South Asia from SABIC. In related plant news, Indonesia's Polytama was looking to start production at its 230,000 tonnes/yr plant in West Java following a two-month shutdown. South Korea's SK Energy also planned to restart its 340,000 tonnes/yr plant located in Ulsan on Jan. 2.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices tumbled in the region on sluggish demand. CFR Far East prices of general-purpose LDPE dropped to $820/tonne, while CFR South East Asia prices were assessed at $830/tonne. Polymerupdate continues to track activity in China, which is expected to remain sluggish due to the lunar holidays that begin Dec. 26. Chinese bids from LDPE buyers were heard at $800/tonne CFR.

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) prices also declined in Asia, dropping more than $20/tonne, with some pressure applied by U.S. imports. CFR Far East LLDPE prices fell to $830/tonne, while CFR South East Asia prices dipped to $820/tonne. In China, domestic sales of LLDPE were stable, fueled by agricultural applications, but demand for international LLDPE turned sluggish.

Despite gains in upstream feedstocks, Asian polyvinyl chloride (PVC) rates were stable, with CFR China and CFR South East Asia prices assessed at $615-$620/tonne.

Offers from South Korean producer LG Chem for January were at $600/tonne FOB. Offers from Taiwan's Formosa were at $630-$640/tonne CFR China, while Japan's Shin-Etsu pegged its January offers at $620/tonne CFR China.

Polystyrene (PS) prices also firmed in Asia, with gains reported across several parts of the region as buying interest marginally improved for both general-purpose and high-impact grades. General-purpose material rose to $715/tonne, with high-impact was up to $840/tonne CFR China. CFR South East Asia prices for high-impact material were assessed at $860/tonne.

In European news, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) contract and spot prices were lower with general-purpose and natural-grade spot prices assessed at euro 890/tonne FD North West Europe. Contract prices dropped as well to euro 1420/tonne FD North West Europe.

Contract prices of PP also fell, with homopolymer injection-grade PP at euro 750/tonne FD North West Europe. Copolymer prices fell to euro 800/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot market, PP finished steady, with homopolymer flat at euro 600/tonne FD North West Europe and copolymer prices unchanged at euro 650/tonne FD North West Europe. In feedstock news, Polymerupdate learned that an initial propylene contract for January was confirmed at euro 430/tonne North West Europe mark, representing a precipitous plunge from the Q4 2008 propylene contract price of euro 953/tonne.

Contract PS prices in Europe fell sharply, with general purpose assessed at euro 955/tonne FD North West Europe, while high-impact drew euro 1035/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot market, PS inched


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