June 6, 2008
In Asian resin pricing news, Polymerupdate is reporting that Indonesian firm Tri Polyta has sharply lifted July prices for polypropylene (PP). The increase represents more than $30/tonne. Throughout Asia, Polymerupdate is reporting that PP prices have “galloped higher”, rising by $40/tonne from last week. CFR China prices late on Monday were at $1760/tonne for injection and raffia grades, with high propylene feedstock costs, firm energy prices, robust demand, and limited product availability fueling the rise.
Polymerupdate is seeing a scramble for spot PP since traders are sitting on limited PP quantities and market participants are convinced prices will eclipse $1800/tonne CFR Asia levels within June. “This clearly is a sellers market and seems like the strong trend is likely to continue for sometime,” Polymerupdate reports.
Abiding the market, SunAllomer will hike its PP list prices by between Yen 20 to Yen 30/kg ($193/tonne to $290/tonne). Owned by LyonellBasell and SDK Sunrise Investment equally, SunAllomer has two PP plants in Japan with a total production capacity of 347,000 tonnes/yr.
Also in Japan, Sumitomo said that its PP and polyethylene (PE) list prices will be lifted by more than Yen 20/kg ($192/tonne) from June 21, with the company raising its local list prices of SBR by Yen 20/kg. Japan Polyethylene has announced its own increase in domestic list prices of PE, raising them by Yen 20/kg ($193/tonne) starting July 1.
In Pakistan, Q-chem has announced June offers for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film grade at $1690/tonne CIF with 90-day L/C payment terms. This price is in line with an announcement by Sabic, according to Polymerupdate, but remains below the offer price from Titan Malaysia, which earlier this week announced a price of $1740/tonne with sight L/C payment terms.
Asian bottle-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers also hiked their offer prices on the basis of gains in upstream PTA (terephthalic acid) and improved demand for bottle-grade PET chips across the region. FOB Korea prices for PET bottle grade resin firmed $15 to $20/tonne to levels near $1460 to $1470/tonne.
In Asian plant news, Polymerupdate is reporting that Oman Polypropylene’s plant restarted in the first week of June, offering production capacity of 340,000 tonnes/yr. The plant, which is in the coastal town of Sohar, had been offstream since the first week of April. A 360,000 tonnes/yr PP plant in Cilegon, Banten operated by PT Tri Polyta will be shutdown for maintenance. Expected to last four to six days, the shutdown’s timing coincides with a planned government-enforced power outage. PolyMirae’s four PP lines at the Yeosu Petrochemical Estate are operating at normal production rates. Offering combined production capacity of 640,000 tonnes/yr, the lines were shut down on May 3 due to a power outage.
In European plant news, a force majeure has been lifted by Ineos at its 280,000-tonnes/yr PP unit at Grangemouth, Scotland. A strike over pension issues on April 27-28 brought production to a halt. Greek PET maker Artenius has restarted its 80,000-tonne/yr PET plant after the unit, located in Volos, was shut down due to a strike that disrupted the supply of feedstock PTA.
Sabic has declared force majeure following an unplanned outage at one of its PP units. The second unit was also impacted as a result of the outage at the first unit. The two PP units have a combined production capacity of 600,000 tonnes/annum, with restart expected around June 15. On the back of this outage however, some producers are seeking a euro 50/tonne hike in their June PP prices.
In European pricing news, Polymerupdate is reporting that Ineos ChlorVinyls plans a Euro 100/tonne hike in polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The increase will be spread over June and July with and is based in part on increasing ethylene prices. Other PVC producers are also looking to take their June prices higher with plans heard of targeted hikes ranging from euro 30 to euro 50/tonne.
Dow plans to hike June PP prices in Europe, India, Middle East, and Africa, increasing contract prices of all grades by euro 50/tonne effective June 1 or as contract terms allow. Contract prices of general purpose and natural grade acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) have been assessed at euro 1730/tonne FD North West Europe, unchanged from a week earlier. Spot prices have edged up by about euro 5/tonne, and going forward, producers are seeking sharp increases in their contract price targets for June, looking at hikes as high as euro 50/tonne or higher. Polymerupdate reports that Dow Europe GmbH will increase the price of Magnum ABS by 150 Euros per tonne and Tyril SAN by 100 Euros per tonne.
Contract prices for PP in Europe were impacted by softening demand, slipping euro 5/tonne on a FD North West Europe basis. Homopolymer injection PP contract prices were assessed down at euro 1195/tonne FD North West Europe while PP copolymer contract prices were assessed at Euro 1250/tonne FD North West Europe. Spot prices held steady at euro 1045/tonne FD levels for homopolymer grades and euro 1095/tonne FD for copolymer grades.
In polystyrene (PS), general-purpose and high-impact contract prices are at euro 1385/tonne and euro 1440/tonne FD North West Europe, respectively, with PS producers looking to add at least euro 20/tonne. HDPE injection, blowmolding, and film-grade contract prices were flat at euro 1270/tonne, euro 1330/tonne, and euro 1300/tonne FD North West Europe levels, respectively. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) general-purpose spot prices were unchanged at Euro 1305/tonne FD North West Europe.
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