Polymerupdate.com European plastics pricing news: Prices steady or climbing

By: 
February 13, 2009

PET bottle grade contract prices in Europe were assessed stable last week at euro 945-965/mt FD North West Europe levels. In the spot markets prices firmed. PET bottle grade spot prices in Europe last week were assessed at €780-800/mt FD Northwest Europe levels, up from previously assessed rates of €750-790/mt FD levels.

PET producers were heard discussing increases ranging from €50-100/mt. Losses in the final quarter of last year coupled with recent gains in feedstock prices pushed sellers to consider immediate increases. Buyers however were determined to resist any attempts of a steep increase. Some buyers did concede to an inevitable price gain but said that they would be prepared to pay only €30/mt.

LDPE prices in Europe continued to bolster higher. In the contract markets, prices of general purpose LDPE were assessed at the €790/mt FD Northwest Europe mark. In the spot markets, prices were assessed at the €740-750/mt to €750/mt FD Northwest Europe levels, a gain from the previous weeks assessed prices at the €720/mt to €730/mt FD levels. In spot markets, prices of LDPE firmed as sales turned robust on the export front. Demand was aggressive from Asian buyers and this kept European sellers in high spirits. Trades were confirmed to India and China and sellers of LDPE were confident that prices would continue to inch up in the near term.

In Turkey, Petkim is reported to have hiked its LDPE prices by $50/mt this month, bringing prices up to $990/mt FCA Aliaga.
LyondellBasell meanwhile defended its decision to hike February PE prices by €100/mt, refusing to accept bids at lower levels.
Meanwhile, Polymerupdate.com reports that LLDPE prices firmed last week in Europe. Contract prices were assessed sharply higher at €770-780/mt FD Northwest Europe levels, up about €30-40 from contract prices the previous week.
In spot markets, LLDPE prices were assessed at €720-730/mt. Local availability was growing tighter as demand on the export front was vigorous. Buying interest for European LLDPE from China was robust with CIF offer prices heard at the $950/mt mark. Going forward, LLDPE producers had their eyes on a target contract price above the €800/mt FD Northwest Europe mark. They were confident that if current trends persisted, these prices would be easily achievable.

Polystyrene (PS) prices inched higher in Europe last week. On the contract front, GPPS prices were assessed at €845-855/mt FD Northwest Europe levels, a rise from previously assessed prices of €835-845/mt FD. HIPS contract prices were at €900-910/mt FD Northwest Europe levels.

In spot markets GPPS prices climbed to €790/mt FD Northwest Europe levels, while prices for HIPS firmed at €845/mt FD Northwest Europe levels. PS suppliers across Europe remained determined to chase higher prices in the weeks ahead as they wished to recover hikes in SM contracts.

Processors of polypropylene saw prices creep higher last week in Europe, with European sellers keeping prices in Europe firm as they had ready buyers in Asia. Contract prices of homopolymer injection grade PP were at €760-770/mt FD Northwest Europe levels, up about €10-20/mt. PP copolymer prices were assessed at €810-820/mt FD Northwest Europe levels. In spot markets, prices of PP injection grades hit €650-660/mt FD Northwest Europe levels while copolymer PP prices were at €700-710/mt FD Northwest Europe levels.

LyondellBasell was heard to be targeting a €50/mt hike in its PP prices for this month. Reduced runs along with high input costs were cited as reasons for the increase. In plant news, LyondellBasell’s PP plant in Italy was to shutdown in February for two months. The plant, at Brindisi, has two PP lines with a total capacity of 420 kt/annum.

Contract prices of ABS last week were flat in Europe, with GP and natural grade ABS at €1185-1195/mt FD Northwest Europe levels. Weak demand in downstream markets, especially in automotive, helped stymie any attempts at price hikes.

In the spot markets, however, prices of ABS did edge higher. Natural grade and GP ABS prices were up in the spot markets at €915-920/mt FD Northwest Europe levels.

PVC prices finished flat last week in Europe. Suspension grade contract prices were at €710-730/mt FD Northwest Europe levels while in the spot markets, prices of PVC were unchanged from a week earlier at €490-550/mt FD Northwest Europe levels. PVC suppliers were however determined to pass on the increase in ethylene feedstock costs to their customers. Buyers, for their part, were equally determined to resist any seller attempts to take their PVC rates higher and cited subdued demand, with some traders pressing for €20-30/mt discounts. —[email protected]

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