Polypropylene (PP) contract prices were flat in Europe last week, according to Polymerupdate, with injection molding grades at Euro 1030/tonne FD Northwest Europe and copolymer prices at Euro 1080/tonne FD Northwest Europe. PP producers continue to press for December hikes, ranging from Euro 10 to Euro 30/tonne, citing firmer monomer costs. Most buyers polled were skeptical about whether they would succeed with the increases in light of the slump in global energy rates and weak year-end buying. In the spot market, PP climbed on tight regional availability, with homopolymer injection molding prices at Euro 845/tonne FD Northwest Europe and copolymer at Euro 885/tonne FD Northwest Europe.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices firmed in Europe last week, with spot prices climbing on strong regional buying interest. Prices rose to Euro 960 to Euro 970/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the contract market, general-purpose LDPE rose to Euro 1040 to Euro 1050/tonne FD Northwest Europe. A trader told Polymerupdate that availability of prompt LDPE supply remains very tight in Europe, and that despite it being the year end, pricing trends are bullish and buying momentum is active. Dow Europe is reported to have ordered a stop in select LDPE grade sales last week since it had almost sold out all of its quantities earmarked for December. Others, including Ineos and Sabic, were also reported to have shut their order books. In production news, Sabic shutdown its Geleen, Netherlands LDPE plant for a two-week-long maintenance program.
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) spot prices marched higher, reaching Euro 950/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while contracts were assessed at Euro 1030 to Euro 1040/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Tight availability and good demand overshadowed the fall in global energy rates and helped European LLDPE sellers steer their offers upwards.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) spot prices tumbled in Europe, with suspension-grade PVC at Euro 670 to Euro 690/tonne FD Northwest Europe, and buyer bids heard as low as Euro 650/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Year-end demand was sluggish with pressure on prices also coming from competitively priced imports. In the contract market, PVC was flat at Euro 915 to Euro 935/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Select producers are pushing for a price hike, including Ineos ChlorVinyls, which announced an increase of Euro 25/tonne for December. In January, the maker is targeting a hike of Euro 50/tonne.
Polystyrene (PS) prices firmed, climbing in tandem with the spike in styrene monomer (SM) and seller reports of tight avails being exacerbated by the closure of Total’s PS unit in Gonfreville in France and the ongoing scheduled shutdown at Dow’s unit at Tessenderlo, Belgium. In contracts, general-purpose (GPPS) prices dropped to Euro 1170/tonne FD Northwest Europe and FD Italy. High-impact (HIPS) prices rose to Euro 1215 to Euro 1225/tonne FD Northwest Europe and FD Italy. Spot prices also gained, with GPPS at Euro 975/tonne FD Northwest Europe and HIPS at Euro 1030/tonne FD Northwest Europe. A PS buyer told Polymerupdate that producers are seeking hikes of Euro 50/tonne in their December contracts in an effort to improve margins and recoup earlier losses. Buyers, however, seem likely to resist and will attempt to contain the size of the hike to one that correlates with the increase in December SM contract values, around Euro 25 to Euro 35/tonne.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) contracts were flat in Europe, with FD Northwest Europe prices at Euro 1315/tonne, even as several producers sought December hikes over their November contract values. An ABS seller told Polymerupdate resistance to an increase is expected on the basis of year-end sluggishness, but higher feedstock costs could push processors’ hands. Spot prices of ABS in Europe were firm last week at Euro 1165 to Euro 1170/tonne FD Northwest Europe.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-grade contracts were unchanged from the week before at Euro 1155 to Euro 1175/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Producers, however, have successfully implemented increases of between Euro 40 to Euro 50/tonne, as they work to recoup higher upstream feedstock costs. Paraxylene (PX) contract prices for December settled at Euro 740/tonne FD Northwest Europe, up Euro 60/tonne from November. Initial monoethylene glycol (MEG) contracts settled at Euro 660/tonne, up Euro 28/tonne from November’s Euro 632/tonne. In the spot market, PET bottle-grade prices firmed, with FD Northwest Europe at Euro 940 to Euro 960/tonne and offers heard as high as Euro 970 to Euro 980/tonne FD. Strength in Asian PET prices was seen as one reason behind the climb in European PET rates, as some domestic players anticipated spot prices to reach Euro 1000/tonne FD next month. In plant news, Indorama reportedly lifted the force majeure at its Workington, U.K. PET plant. Severe flooding in the region had prompted the producer to halt operations at 130,000 tonnes/yr facility. —[email protected]