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The fall in the prices being demanded for most commodity resins across Asia continues. According to plastics pricing service Polymerupdate, prices were down over the past week for PP, PE, PS, PVC and related plastics. Most of the downward pricing pressure is being chalked up to lackluster demand.

PlasticsToday Staff

September 19, 2011

4 Min Read
Across Asia, plastics prices continue to stall or fall

For instance, polypropylene (PP) prices drifted lower this week in Asia as regional buying trends turned very sluggish, reported Polymerupdate. PP injection and PP raffia grade prices were down to $1515/tonne CFR Far East Asia levels. Bids were few and were heard pegged at the $1500/tonne CFR levels and below. PP film grade material prices were down at $1525/tonne CFR Far East Asia levels. Block copolymer prices were down at $1550/tonne CFR Far East Asia levels.

According to one buyer of PP who Polymerupdate spoke with, next month likely will bring no increase in prices of PP, as holidays and China and then India will continue to limit demand.

In plant news, Middle East PP supplier Tasnee planned to shut its 300,000-tonne/annum PP unit on October 1 for maintenance.

Prices for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) declined slightly across parts of Asia. Most buyers polled had a near-term bearish outlook owing to weak ethylene markets and slow demand for finished product, said Polymerupdate. HD injection molding grade prices were at $1350/tonne CFR Far East Asia levels while HDPE blowmolding grade prices were at $1365/tonne levels. HD film prices were at $1360/tonne CFR Far East Asia levels.

CFR South East Asia prices of HD injection, HD blowmolding and HD film were at $1365/tonne, $1370/tonne and $1365/tonne levels.

HD film offers to India from a supplier in Thailand were at $1400/tonne CFR levels, but no deals were heard done at this price, according to Polymerupdate. In China, where the buying pulse remained soft, ex works prices were at Yuan 11400/tonne levels.

Prices of LDPE dipped this week in Asia. A combination of factors was heard responsible for the price fall in LDPE including dull regional demand trends, softer prices of ethylene feedstock and ample availability in Asia.

CFR Far East Asia prices of general purpose LDPE were down at $1500/tonne levels while CFR South East Asia prices were down at $1520/tonne levels.

Offers to India from a Middle East producer were heard at the $1570/tonne CFR mark with no buying interest seen at this price level.

In China, domestic prices were at the Yuan 12800/tonneex works level. Local PE sellers when contacted confirmed that buying sentiments in China at the current time were very sluggish and that holidays next month were likely to further slow the purchase momentum. Weakness in other PE grades also kept the pricing pressures on low-density PE bearish.

Prices for linear low-density PE (LLDPE) also fell in Asia this week. Prices declined as regional buying trends continued to remain sluggish. Also contributing toward the price fall were bearish ethylene pricing trends coupled with ample regional LLDPE inventory.

CFR Far East Asia prices of LLDPE were down at $1295/tonne levels while CFR South East Asia prices were down at $1310/tonne levels. CFR South Asia prices of LLDPE were down at $1350/tonne levels.

Offers to India for LLDPE film grade material were at the $1360/tonne CFR mark, however buying interest at this price was very limited with no confirmed deals heard done.

In China, buying was at a standstill. Local ex work prices of LLDPE were at Yuan 10500/tonne levels with buyers polled voicing their disinterest in purchasing despite the price decline. Overseas offers to China at the $1300/tonne CFR mark failed to attract any buying this week either, said Polymerupdate.

Prices of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) dropped this week in Asia. Low demand coupled with falling prices of feedstocks EDC and VCM wielded downward pressure on spot PVC prices. Also bearish for the markets were competitively priced offers to Asia from U.S.-based sellers.

CFR China prices of PVC were down at $1040/tonne levels. Buying bids were hard to come by with Polymerupdate hearing of tentative interest at levels below the $1020/tonne CFR mark. In China's local markets, prices of PVC were down this week at Yuan 7925/tonne levels for ethylene-based PVC. This price translates into an import parity price near the $980/tonne mark. One seller interviewed said he expects little change, except possibly continued price fall, in the coming weeks.

CFR South East Asia prices of PVC meanwhile were down at $1050/tonne levels.

PVC offers to India from Formosa were heard priced at the $1040/tonne CFR mark with several deals heard concluded at this price level.

In plant news, CGPC of Taiwan is likely to begin commercial production at its new 170,000-tonne/annum PVC plant next week.

Demand for polystyrene (PS) was sluggish this week in Asia. A decline in prices of SM kept the downward pressure on spot prices. General-purpose PS (GPPS) prices were at the $1590/tonne CFR China mark while CFR South East Asia prices were at $1610/tonne levels. Buying interest was absent. Prices for high-impact PS (HIPS) were at $1795/tonne CFR China and $1815/tonne CFR South East Asia levels.

Asian acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene (ABS) prices fell this past week across Asia too, as upstream prices of ACN, butadiene and styrene monomer (SM) declined. Also supporting the price fall was sluggish regional buying. CFR China prices of ABS were down at $2145/tonne levels while CFR South East Asia prices were down at $2165/tonne levels. In China, domestic prices were down at Yuan 16900/tonne levels with offers in some parts of the country heard near the Yuan 16600/tonne level.

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