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Polymerupdate global plastics pricing briefs

Polymerupdate is reporting that Indonesian polypropylene (PP) maker Tri Polyta has increased its domestic PP offers by $20/tonne on the basis of firmer crude, naphtha, and propylene prices, in Asian pricing news. Tri Polyta’s plant, located in Merak, Java, Indonesia, runs three PP lines with a combined output capacity of 360,000 tonnes/yr.
Prices of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) were also up, hitting $1850/tonne CFR China, with producers targeting prices above $1900/tonne CFR Asia for May due to higher feedstock costs. Prices of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) in the Far East are also higher at $1770/tonne CFR to $1780/tonne CFR. South East Asia offers have been seen at $1800/tonne CFR, while offers to South Asia from the Middle East range from $1840/tonne to $1850/tonne CFR.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in Asia continued their run higher, rising $10/tonne, with CFR prices to China at $1180/tonne. Fresh offers to markets like India rose to $1240/tonne to $1250/tonne CFR. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) injection deals to China are ranging from $1630/tonne to $1640/tonne CFR, up $10/tonne. Polymerupdate learned that injection offers from Taiwan’s Formosa for May to China are at $1650/tonne CFR.
In plant news, Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene Co. is planning to start up new units in Al Jubail by the end of the year. The LDPE and HDPE lines will each have a production capacity of 400,000 tonnes/yr.
Mitsui and Prime Polymers plan to boost PP compound capacity in North America, Thailand, and China by 24% or 73,000 tonnes/yr to 375,000 tonnes/yr by end of 2009. In North America that means an increase of 28,000 tonnes/yr to 220,000 tonnes/yr. The capacity expansion in Thailand is pegged at 113,000 tonnes/yr, an increase of 27,000 tonnes/yr, while China will increase by 18,000 tonnes/yr to 42,000 tonnes/yr. Prime Polymers was formed in 2005 through the merger of Mitsui Chemicals’ and Idemitsu Kosan’s PP divisions.
Formosa’s new PP plant at Ningbo, China has stabilized after a feedstock shortage, achieving a production capacity of 450,000 tonnes/yr. Propylene feedstock for the new PP comes from Formosa’s steam crackers at Mailiao, Taiwan, where reduced production rates at the No. 1 naphtha-fed steam cracker affected PP output.
Start up at Laleh Petrochemicals’ LDPE plant in Iran at Bandar Imam Khomeini has been delayed by about 3 months. The plant will have production capacity of 300,000 tonnes/yr, with the setback caused by an undisclosed technical issue.
Qatar-based Qatofin plans to launch a new LLDPE plant in the first quarter of 2009. A joint venture between Qapco and Total Petrochemicals, Qatofin will have a production capacity of 450,000 tonnes/yr and be located at Mesaieed in the southeast of Qatar.
Eastern Petrochemical Company’s (SHARQ) new PE plants in Al Jubail are set to launch at the start of the fourth quarter in 2008. Polymerupdate reports that startup had originally been planned for the first quarter of 2008. The expansion includes a new 400,000 tonnes/yr HDPE facility that is likely to begin production first, followed by a new LLDPE line with a production capacity of 400,000 tonnes/yr.
In European plant news, Polimeri lifted force majeure status from its Dunkirk, France LDPE unit, which has a production capacity of 180,000 tonnes/yr. A fire on March 19 had led to a delay in the start up of its Dunkirk cracker, with force majeure declared on April 2.
In European pricing news, PP contract and spot prices ended last week down. While homopolymer injection grade contract prices were assessed at euro 1235/tonne FD North West Europe, PP copolymer contract prices were seen at euro 1280/tonne FD North West Europe.
ABS prices were reported up at euro 1725/tonne FD North West Europe for general purpose and natural grades, due to higher global energy rates, firmer naphtha numbers, rising costs of CAN, and firmer butadiene prices. In the spot market, ABS general-purpose and natural-grade prices were seen at euro 1310/tonne to euro 1315/tonne FD North West Europe.
In PS, general-purpose PS contract prices were down from a week earlier to euro 1395/tonne FD North West Europe, while HIPS contract prices were also found lower to euro 1450/tonne FD North West Europe. EPS contract prices were assessed at euro 1415/tonne FD North West Europe.
Butene-grade LLDPE contract prices were at euro 1285/tonne FD North West Europe while spot prices registered at euro 1205/tonne FD North West Europe. LDPE spot prices were assessed down at euro 1220/tonne FD North West Europe.
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