Polypropylene (PP) contract prices in Europe last week were unchanged from the week before, with homopolymer injection grade PP at €800/tonne FD Northwest Europe and copolymer steady at €840/tonne FD Northwest Europe, according to Polymerupdate.
Producers and users polled by Polymerupdate confirmed that April PP contracts were largely rolled over from March. In the spot market, homopolymer was assessed at €720/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with copolymer registering €770/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In related plant news, Dow Europe has restarted its Schkopau, Germany PP unit following a routine turnaround. The 250,000 tonnes/year PP operation was shut down in mid March for a month-long outage. Dow now has plans for a shutdown at its 195,000 tonnes/year PP unit in Wesseling, Germany.
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) contract prices in Europe were unchanged at €900/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with spot prices softening to €775 to €785/tonne FD Northwest Europe, compared to €785/tonne to €795/tonne FD Northwest Europe a week earlier. Polymerupdate reports that imported LLDPE cargoes tipped the market, with arrivals from the Middle East and Brazil. Overall export activity has slowed, despite tight avails of LLDPE in Asia. Dow Europe GmbH announced a price increase across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India, attributing the move to continued high raw materials costs and a need to restore margins. Effective May 1, 2009, or as contract terms allow, Dow Europe will lift all LDPE, HDPE, and LLDPE grades by €50/tonne.
Polystyrene (PS) prices finished higher last week, with general-purpose contracts at €955/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while high-impact PS was assessed at €1000/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Higher SM feedstock contract for April prompted producers to target an increase of €100/tonne over March settlements, but buyers queried by Polymerupdate indicated they were reluctant to willingly accept such a high price hike, saying €50/tonne for April PS contracts seems more likely. In the spot market, general-purpose PS rose to €770/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with high-impact grades touching €815/tonne FD Northwest Europe.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) contract prices rose to €1195/tonne FD Northwest Europe in spite of a drop in upstream styrene monomer (SM). Increases in butadiene and acrylonitrile, however, prompted ABS producers to chase higher contract price targets. Spot ABS prices dropped, with FD Northwest Europe dropping to €1230 to €1240/tonne. Polymerupdate notes that the markets were “abuzz” regarding cancellation of a Turkish purchase tender for ABS. According to Polymerupdate’s sources, the tender was cancelled due to weakening Turkish ABS demand, painting a bearish picture for the regional market going forward.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contracts were unchanged from the week before, with suspension-grade PVC rates on a FD Northwest Europe basis assessed at €715/tonne. In the spot market, PVC came in at €530 to €560/tonne FD Northwest Europe. PVC producers were targeting hikes between €30 to €50/tonne, but weak demand and a rollover of March feedstock ethylene contracts will preclude polymer increases.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) contract prices moved upward on gains in terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG), with bottle grades at €1075 to €1095/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Spot PET bottle-grade prices registered between €840 to €860/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with offers heard as high as €900/tonne. —firstname.lastname@example.org