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Polymerupdate European resin pricing, August 24-28: PP flat; PE, PS, PVC, and ABS up

Polypropylene (PP) contract prices were flat in Europe last week at €990/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with copolymer at €1040/tonne FD Northwest Europe, according to Polymerupdate. The outlook for September remained bullish, with PP producers determined to recover lost margins. PP makers polled said that September contract price settlements for propylene would only partially dictate their PP pricing targets.

Polypropylene (PP) contract prices were flat in Europe last week at €990/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with copolymer at €1040/tonne FD Northwest Europe, according to Polymerupdate. The outlook for September remained bullish, with PP producers determined to recover lost margins. PP makers polled said that September contract price settlements for propylene would only partially dictate their PP pricing targets. Other factors to be considered include expectations of improved demand as market participants return from summer holidays. Some PP makers were considering increases of €70 to €80/tonne over August. In the spot market, PP firmed with homopolymer at €930/tonne FD Northwest Europe and copolymer at €980/tonne FD Northwest Europe.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) injection molding contracts were at €1040/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with blowmolding and film grades at €1055/tonne and €1030/tonne FD Northwest Europe, respectively. In the spot market, HDPE injection, blowmolding, and film grade prices were assessed at €1000 to €1010/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Product availability was severely limited, with tight avails expected to continue into September. Dow Europe announced a €120/tonne hike in its September PE prices, with others expected to follow suit.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) spot prices shot higher in Europe on the back of higher ethylene contracts. FD Northwest Europe spot prices rose to €1020/tonne, up from the prior week’s assessed rates of €980/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the contract market, general-purpose LDPE prices were steady at €1040/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Through its online polyolefin purchasing business, Alastian, LyondellBasell hiked early September delivery prices by between €45 and €50/tonne to €1035/tonne FD.
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) spot prices moved higher, climbing to €1010/tonne FD Northwest Europe from €970/tonne FD. Seller targets for September were higher still at €1050/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Contract LLDPE prices were assessed at €1030/tonne FD Northwest Europe, as higher settlements in ethylene kept the pricing undertone bullish.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in Europe edged higher as product tightness continued, with suspension-grade PVC at €940/tonne, up from €875/tonne. FD Italy prices rose to €950/tonne. In the spot market, prices also moved higher, with FD Northwest Europe rates at €850/tonne. In plant news, Ineos is reported to have restarted its vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant at Rafnes, Norway on August 17. The force majeure at the 460,000-tonnes/yr facility contributed to very low inventory. Germany’s Vinnolit is also planning to shut down its 160,000-tonnes/yr PVC plant located in Knapsack for maintenance. Finally, Solvin may shut its 240,000-tonnes/yr PVC facility located in Tavaux, France in September.

Polystyrene (PS) contract and spot prices climbed in Europe as producers worked to reclaim lost margins. General-purpose PS (GPPS) contract prices rose to €1235/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while high-impact PS (HPPS) contract prices were assessed at €1290/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, PS prices firmed with GPPS prices at €1025/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while HIPS prices rose to €1080/tonne FD Northwest Europe. FOB Rotterdam styrene monomer (SM) quoted firm at €1125/tonne mark. Prices were bullish on the back of reports of reduced production at Shell/BASF PO/SM joint venture project located at Moerdijk, the Netherlands.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) general-purpose and natural-grade contracts were up, reaching €1405 to €1415/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Bullish prices of acrylonitrile (ACN), butadiene, and styrene monomer (SM) kept the pricing pressure on. Despite gains of €80 to €100/tonne in their contract settlements, ABS producers in Europe continue to feel margin pressures. For September, ABS producers polled maintained that they would continue to pursue price hikes. In the spot market, ABS prices rose to €1215/tonne FD Northwest Europe. September demand was expected to turn robust as buyers return from summer holidays. mpweditorial@cancom.com

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