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Polymerupdate European resin pricing, Oct. 19-23: ABS up; LDPE, PVC, and PET flat; LLDPE, PP, and PS down

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) contract and spot prices were flat in Europe last week according to Polymerupdate. General-purpose LDPE contract prices were assessed at €1100 to €1110/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while spot LDPE general-purpose prices came in at €930 to €940/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Polymerupdate reports that the declining trend in spot prices ceased as early signs of a buying revival emerged. The market was further influenced by firmer crude and improved sentiments in Asia.

PlasticsToday Staff

October 28, 2009

4 Min Read
Polymerupdate European resin pricing, Oct. 19-23: ABS up; LDPE, PVC, and PET flat; LLDPE, PP, and PS down

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) contract and spot prices were flat in Europe last week according to Polymerupdate. General-purpose LDPE contract prices were assessed at €1100 to €1110/tonne FD Northwest Europe, while spot LDPE general-purpose prices came in at €930 to €940/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Polymerupdate reports that the declining trend in spot prices ceased as early signs of a buying revival emerged. The market was further influenced by firmer crude and improved sentiments in Asia. Higher LDPE export prices from the U.S. also supported a better outlook. That said, a trader contacted by Polymerupdate did temper expectations going forward. “We do not believe that rates will climb much higher in Europe as November and December are usually months of quiet.”

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) contract prices declined in Europe last week, with FD Northwest Europe dropping to €1080 to €1090/tonne. Contract prices fell on weak local demand as converters were unwilling to commit to large-volume purchases. LLDPE producers responded by stressing on their willingness to further slash output. In the spot market, LLDPE prices inched up in Europe, as traders were willing to risk building fresh positions, due to the surge in global energy rates and improved pricing trends in Asia and the U.S. Spot FD Northwest Europe LLDPE was assessed at €920 to €930/tonne.

Polypropylene (PP) contract and spot prices slipped last week, pushed by competitively priced offers from Eastern Europe and reports the arbitrage window between the U.S. and European markets has opened. Contract PP homopolymer injection molding dropped to €1055/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with PP copolymer at €1105/tonne FD Northwest Europe. In the spot market, PP homopolymer was assessed at €845/tonne FD Northwest Europe, with PP copolymer prices at €885/tonne FD Northwest Europe mark. A PP buyer told Polymerupdate that while, “Asia may be witnessing a pricing recovery, European PP continues to remain over-priced.”

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contract prices were unchanged at €975 to €995/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Producers confirmed settling contracts at a rollover from last month, although some buyers said that they settled their October contracts at decreases of between €10 to €20/tonne. In the spot market, activity was muted, as buyers who had sufficient inventories on hand stayed out of the market. FD Northwest Europe spot PVC dropped to the €770 to €800/tonne range.
 
Polystyrene (PS) contract prices were mostly down. Although some PS contracts had not yet settled, a few producers contacted confirmed that general-purpose (GPPS) contracts settled down at €1155 to €1165/tonne FD Northwest Europe. HIPS contract prices dropped to €1215 to €1220/tonne FD Northwest Europe. A PS producer told Polymerupdate contracts are likely to settle at prices €35 to €40/tonne lower. In the spot market, prices were stable at €980/tonne FD Northwest Europe for GPPS and €1040/tonne FD Northwest Europe mark for HIPS.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) general-purpose and natural grades firmed last week, gaining on tight product availability and increases in Asia and the U.S. In Europe’s contract markets, general-purpose and natural-grade prices rose to €1470 to €1480/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Spot prices climbed to €1060 to €1070/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Sellers confirmed that October demand was better than expected, and producers said that although October contract settlements were below the initial targeted increases of €75 to €150/tonne, rate hikes of €50/tonne were secured.
 
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-grade contract prices were flat at €1195 to €1215/tonne FD Northwest Europe. Buyers had pushed for a decrease of €100/tonne in their October contracts on the back of the €145/tonne fall in October paraxylene contracts in Northwest Europe. PET sellers, however, successfully stemmed the fall by citing surging global crude and a shutdown at Spanish firm Cepsa Quimica’s terephthalic acid (TPA) plant. That site has capacity of 450,000 tonnes/yr. Spot PET prices dropped again last week, with bottle-grade prices falling to €860 to €900/tonne FD Northwest Europe. PET sellers have indicated that further price drops were unlikely given tightness in spot PTA and bullish energy prices. In additional plant news, Spain’s La Seda kept its 100,000-tonnes/yr PET plant shut down. Located in El Prat de Llobregat, the facility was shut three weeks ago as Europe’s peak PET season ended. —[email protected]

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