29.05.2017, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Dropping PO and increasing PS prices in June
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- polyolefin converters expect a further price drop in June,
- PS producers expect an increasing price tendency in June both in case of polymer and monomer grades,
- balanced supply,
- converters have still reduced the level of their purchases,
- stable BRENT oil price higher than 52 USD/barrel
- EUR/USD exchange rate over 1.1 getting stronger
Silent May is slowly over. Polyolefin converters expect a further price drop. Thus they try to keep waiting. Some polymer producers try stimulating the market by major price drops in case of smaller quantities. But this was successful only when the price offered reached the price expected by June, which is by 20-40 € lower than the prices early May.
But in case of PS the steep price drops will result, as mentioned in the previous reports, in a quick price turnaround. Some polymer producers do not take orders for May since as early as early last week. They expect a price increase by 50-100 € in case of SM and similar polymer grades.
Also polyolefin producers expect a summer price turnaround, in July but in August at latest monomer and polymer prices will start increasing. But in “low season” it is hard to pass price increases on, in this way plastic converters can get into a difficult situation again.
But monomer prices are not yet known, both sellers and buyers expect a decrease by 20-40 EUR for June, in case of ethylene (C2) and propylene (C3) alike.
LDPE prices are eroding further. In case of the sales last week a sale price range of 1,220-1,260 was typical. Supply is good and balanced, there is a slight oversupply. Compared to the early May price level prices are by 30-50 € lower. This corresponds to the prices expected by early June. The price range expected by early June will be 1,220-1,240 €/ton. But nobody expects a major increase of the demand on the market, which will lead to a further slow price erosion until the end of June.
HDPE supply is still abundant, demand is still low. The Serbian producer has started reducing prices, in this way HDPE BM and FILM grades are available at FCA prices of 1,140 €. The typical price range in the whole region is still 1,180-1,280 €. The prices of HDPE Pipe (100) did not change, the price range is 1,350-1,450 €/ton. Early June an initial price range of 1,140-1,200 €/ton can be expected. In case of HDPE Pipe (100) prices of 1,300-1,400 € are probable.
LLDPE C4 did not drop last week, there were just low sales on the market as there is no supply. In spite of this converters expect a price drop by 30-50 € by June. The price level of mLLDPE was unchanged, within a price range of 1,350-1,360 € last week. Demand is low, a further general price drop by 30-50 € is to be expected early June.
PPH prices are still the lowest in the southern region (Serbia, Romania) here the typical price range is 1,130-1,200 €/ton, but PPH Raffia is available at an FCA price of 1,100 €/ton. Pricing of June in the end of May prices has started. Supply is good, there is a slight oversupply. By June a further price drop by 20-40 € is probable. The price of PPH IM grades is expected to be 1,100-1,150 €/ton early June, while the price range of PPH Raffia grades will be 1,090-1,130 €/ton.
PPC prices have eroded as well. There were just low sales on the market, prices were on the average by 10-20 EUR lower than last week. The typical price range is 1,220-1,300 € in the region. Early June the expected price range will be 1,200-1,270 €/ton. But nobody expects a major increase of the demand.
PPR supply and prices are stable, we did not measure major changes. The typical price range is: 1,280-1,360 €, depending on the grade. By June an average price drop by 0 € is to be expected. In this way converters try postponing their purchases to June.
On the polyolefin market price drop seems to be clear, but the extent of it will ultimately depend on the change of monomer prices. Last week market players shared the same opinion: monomer and polymer price drop by 20-40 €. However in case demand will not become more dynamic, then in June a further price reduction is to be expected corresponding to dropping margin at polymer producers.
The prices of the last week and expectations for early June are presented in the table below (full truck load, 20-22,5 t tones):
||Polymer price ranges in May, 2017, Central Europe (€/ton)||Expected polymer price ranges in June, 2017, Central Europe (€/ton)|
|HDPE blow molding
|HDPE injection molding
|HDPE pipe (100)
|LDPE general purpose
|PP co-polymer injection molding
|PP homo-polymer fiber
|PP homo-polymer injection molding
Prices seem to make a turn. Styrene monomer spot prices started increasing again. Last week polymer producers and traders have forecast already June price increases both for monomers and polymers. The situation is weird, because general mood one week ago hinted to price drop in June. But last week there was a sudden turn on the monomer market. In this way SM price expectations for June turned to an increase by +50-100 €.
In case of EPS the typical price range is 1,290-1,350 € in Central Europe. But we saw also significantly cheaper EPS prices at about 1,200 €, from WE source, in reduced quantity. Based on the situation last week the expected price range will be 1,350-1,400 € early June.
However GPPS prices have eroded further last week, sales were typically made within a price range of 1,220-1,250-1,300 €. The market will almost certainly not accept the expected monomer price range, in this way polymer producers will be forced to make a margin sacrifice. In June the typical price range will be 1,250-1,320 €.
In case of HIPS demand is good and supply is stable. Prices are stable, the typical price range is 1,350-1,400 €/ton. A polymer price increase corresponding to the extent of monomer price increase is to be expected. The expected price range will be 1,400-1,470 € early June in Central Europe.
On the PS market a very high volatility lasting since 8 months has been shocking converters. They have an ever decreasing time to adapt to the changes. As a result of the sudden changes plastic converters will close an economically and financially difficult year that can result in the further drop of the demand.
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