Polymerupdate reports that polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) prices across Asia were stabilizing, in spite of continued downward moves in upstream naphtha and petroleum. Some processors contacted by Polymerupdate said they felt they had roughly timed the market’s bottom, and were ready to move back into a buying mode. Asian players are keeping an eye on the U.S. market, where weak demand and falling prices could push those resins eastward for export into Asia.
Ethylene feedstock prices were stable at $430 to $440/tonne CFR Asia, but tight regional availability did push prices for high-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) upward. CFR Far East Asia HDPE rose to $840/tonne, with LDPE ranging from $890 to $900/tonne CFR Far East. LLDPE lifted to $840 to $850/tonne CFR Far East Asia.
Propylene prices rose to $480/tonne FOB Korea, pushing up polypropylene (PP) in the region. Production cuts have limited PP supply, but some materials from the U.S. have stepped in to fill the gap. Polymerupdate says offers from the U.S. have been priced below $700/tonne CFR Asia, but given the long delivery time and, in some cases, immediate need to replenish inventories, Asian processors are opting for local supplies. PP injection molding and raffia grades rose to the $780/tonne CFR Far East, with some offers heard above the $800/tonne CFR mark.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in Asia gained reaching $605-$610/tonne on a CFR South East Asia basis, while in India, prices rose by about $20 to $640-$650/tonne CFR.
Polystyrene (PS) prices declined in Asia, with CFR China prices of general purpose assessed at $730/tonne and bids heard between $700 and $720/tonne. High-impact prices fell to $840/tonne CFR China, with bids at $800/tonne CFR.
In European news, HDPE prices ended lower in both the contract and spot markets. HDPE injection prices fell to euro 790/tonne FD, while blowmolding prices dipped to euro 740/tonne FD North West Europe. HDPE film prices fell to euro 720/tonne FD North West Europe.
LLDPE prices fell sharply, as contract prices of butene-grade LLDPE hit euro 910/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot markets, prices fell to euro 730/tonne FD North West Europe. Market participants contacted by Polymerupdate did not expect LLDPE prices in Europe to stabilize at these levels and expect see additional declines going forward.
General-purpose LDPE prices also fell, with contract prices dropping to euro 900/tonne FD North West Europe. Spot prices of LDPE fell to euro 695-700/tonne FD North West Europe. On top of production cuts by resin makers, Polymerupdate has heard talk from several processors that plan to close factories in advance of the Christmas holiday earlier this year, which could further depress prices.
PP prices fell as well lat week, with homopolymer injection molding contract prices at euro 975/tonne FD North West Europe. PP copolymer contract prices rose to euro 1025/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot markets, homopolymer injection molding grades settled at euro 690/tonne FD North West Europe, while PP copolymer prices dropped to euro 740-750/tonne FD North West Europe.
Suspension-grade PVC contract prices fell to euro 975-990/tonne FD North West Europe, with spot prices hitting euro 700/tonne. General-purpose PS contract prices fell to euro 1200/tonne FD North West Europe, down from euro 1230/tonne. High-impact contract prices dipped to euro 1265/tonne FD North West Europe, down from previous week’s euro 1295/tonne FD North West Europe.
Contract prices of general-purpose and natural-grade acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) fell to euro 1690-1700/tonne FD North West Europe, down precipitously from the previous week’s euro 1850/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot markets, ABS prices hit euro 1125-1130/tonne FD North West Europe, down from the previous week’s euro 1245/tonne FD North West Europe.