Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) prices were higher across Asia last week, rising on strength in global crude, subsequently higher naphtha rates, gains in ethylene, and reports of tighter product availability, according to Polymerupdate. Strong buying trends in China helped offset weakness elsewhere and justify price hikes in LLDPE, as well as low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). CFR Far East Asia, CFR Southeast Asia, and CFR South Asia prices of LLDPE rose to $1010 to $1020/tonne with offers for April hitting $1050/tonne CFR. In China, local producers hiked their LLDPE offer prices by as much as RMB 500/tonne. Ex work prices were at RMB 9500/tonne. In plant news, PetroRabigh’s LLDPE plant in Saudi Arabia was started up with sales expected to commence from the 350,000 tonnes/yr next month.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices, as mentioned, also rose across Asia. CFR Far East Asia and CFR Southeast Asia LDPE prices were assessed at $1020/tonne, with sellers targeting offers of $1050/tonne CFR for April shipments. In China, local majors Petrochina and Sinopec reportedly hiked domestic prices of LDPE sharply, prompting open market prices higher by RMB 300/tonne week-on-week. Ex-work LDPE prices rose last week to RMB 9000/tonne.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) prices in Asia finished sharply higher last week. In Far East Asia, HDPE yarn and injection grades rose to $1030/tonne. Sellers claimed that despite the steep rise in rates, buying interest remained robust. Here too, PetroChina and Sinopec lifted ex factory offers by between RMB 300 to RMB 500/tonne. In the Middle East, PetroRabigh started up its 300,000 tonnes/yr HDPE plant with commercial sales expected to start in April. Equate has reportedly resolved technical problems at its plant that had resulted in a shutdown, and SABIC is reported to be experiencing some production trouble at some of its units.
Propylene prices in Asia also rose, with FOB Korea rates hitting $790/tonne, a gain of $10/tonne. Here too, buyers showed interest despite the price climb as regional availability remained tight.
Polypropylene (PP) rose on higher propylene feedstock costs, with PP raffia and injection grade offers hitting $980/tonne CFR. A PP seller contacted by Polymerupdate said that despite the steep gains in PP prices, it was “inundated with inquiries.”
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices were flat across Asia last week with CFR China prices at $670/tonne and CFR Southeast Asia prices assessed at $670/tonne. South Korean producers were targeting April offers to China at $700/tonne CFR and higher, citing good demand and strength in upstream EDC and VCM rates. In India, the buying mood was subdued and prices fell to $730 to $740/tonne CFR. In Southeast Asia, PVC offers for April ranged from between $630 to $650/tonne CFR. —[email protected]