28.08.2017, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Monomers control the prices in September.
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- Europe is slowly coming back from holiday.
- BRENT oil price 52.41 USD/barrel, it is increasing
- EUR getting stronger, EUR/USD: 1.1921
- increasing monomer spot prices,
- low PS supply, in case of EPS and HIPS in particular
In July-August market players anticipated growing demand in September and increasing prices. They seem to be right. Now the change of market prices is facilitated first of all by monomer prices. Sport prices at the end of August exceed the contractual olefin monomer prices in August by 7-9%. The price tendency is now at any rate pointing upwards. The question is whether contract prices will increase in September. Most market players anticipate a price increase by 30-40 €/t both in case of propylene and ethylene. But the fact that in September 9% of the ethylene capacities will shut down in Europe is a reason for concern. This will probably keep up the significant price differences between the contracted and spot ethylene prices. In this way also ethylene buyers are interested in a contracted ethylene price in September ensuring their stable supply, even if they pay a higher price for that. Spot market purchases, due to the expectedly higher monomer price will reduce the margin of polymer producers. In this way in case of ethylene the range of the expected monomer price increase will be 30-60 €, while in case of propylene we can anticipate a price increase by 30-40 €. In case the monomer price increase remains within a range of 30-40 €, polymer producers will enforce a price increase by 10-30 € exceeding the monomer price increase. In case of higher monomer price increase there is less space for a relative price increase. Now the market cannot accept a price increase higher than 60-70 €.
In case of SM the situation is similar, the market expects a significant increase. But due to the lower number of market players (monomer and polymer producers) the extent of the price change is harder to foresee. The direction of the spot SM price is not yet clear-cut. Because of the maintenance at Versalis demand for SM will be lower, which can push the prices down. But exactly because of the maintenance and the short supply PS prices will be expected to start climbing up. We are of opinion that expectedly after the publication of the contracted ethylene prices monomer producers will come up also here with a slighter price increase, in particular, as due to the start of the autumn season there is a high demand for EPS and HIPS, which means also slightly increasing polymer prices.
The price of LDPE remained stable last week. In August there was an average price increase by 30--40 € during the month. Below 1,200 € LDPE produced in the EU is not available at all. Regional and European producers offer their products in a price range of 1,200-1,260 €. Demand is dynamic. The price level in September is expected to be within a range of 1,230-1,320 €.
The price of HDPE has changed just slightly during August. Local producers have slightly increased their prices during the last week of the month. Polish prices start from 1,030 EUR, while in other parts of Central-Europe from 1,060 €. The demand is for the time being not really high, and only a price increase following monomer prices is to be expected.
The HDPE pipe market is waiting for orders. This year seems to pass without high season in Central-Europe. Though the demand could be somewhat better in September-October, but the infrastructural projects not yet started so far will probably slip through into the next year. Prices will follow monomer prices with small premium (+10-15 €).
A price increase could give a boost to the LLDPE C4 market, here a major monomer price increase could help move the inventories with prices higher than 1,150 € at the traders. The supply situation is expected to get better in the autumn due to the EUR getting stronger. But there are low chances for this in September. We expect prices in September to be within a range of 1,160-1,200 € in case of big consumers and within a range of 1,190-1,300 € in case of small consumers.
mLLDPE demand is stable, supply is broad, the price range is stable and in a range of 1,190-1,230 € in August. A price increase following monomer prices is to be expected.
PPH demand was dynamic last week, due to the end of the summer holidays, and because of the increasing volume of pre-purchases. Also smaller regional PPH producers increased their prices in the last week of August. The price of PPH is far away from the limit of 1,000 € and also the lowest prices are at about 1,040 €. Expectedly in September, in addition to the monomer price change there will be a price increase by some 10-20 EUR. Dynamic demand can be anticipated.
PPC demand increases, due to the willingness to buy in advance. The price level at the end of August is by some 20-30 €/t higher than the value typical for the beginning of the month. Demand is high, last week it was already hard to buy higher quantities. The price increase will exceed monomer prices by 10-30 €.
By the end of the month also PPR supply dropped, there was just a low volume sold, due to the end of the month. By September we can still anticipate stable, high demand and a price increase exceeding monomer prices by 20-30 €.
The prices of the last week are presented in the table below (full truck load 20-22.5 t):
||Typical polymer price ranges in the last week of Aug , 2017, Central Europe (€/ton)||Expected polymer price ranges in the first week of Sept , 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
EPS prices will be marked by short supply in September. In August EPS became independent of SM prices and this is expected to happen also in September. The high seasonal demand will at any rate pull prices up. We expect a price increase exceeding monomer price changes by 50-60 €. In September the EPS price range will be 1,400-1,500 €.
Last week GPPS prices started climbing, following the increasing demand. Demand will continue to increase in September as well. The typical price range of GPPS produced in the EU is: expected to be 1,260-1,450 €/ton, depending on the grade and application area.
The short HIPS supply will continue. It is hard to get full truckloads of HIPS from European source. We have measured minor price increases (+10-30 €) in some parts of the region. The price range was 1,370-1,500 €. We expect the lowest prices in September to be about 1,400 €.
"myCEPPI – a new voice and new approach on the plastics industry consulting and business intelligence market. With our expert advice, you can get a detailed, up-to-date and tailor-made picture of the Central and Eastern European plastics market and its main trends, data, news and key players.
Our services rely on our personal, regular and in-depth relations with players of the CEE plastics industry.
Each month, we conduct hundreds of interviews and telephone calls with industry players – plastics converters, traders, resin manufacturers – and we are also present at the biggest regional plastics trade fairs and conferences.
The information we collect in the process forms the basis of our weekly price report and market analysis; it feeds into our plastics industry company database; and it serves as the starting point for our multi-level consulting services for companies that need help sizing up, entering or navigating a specific market.
Our experts possess decades of plastics industry experience, as well as fluency in several regional languages.
Our partners include
- key players of the CEE plastics industry – the resin
- master-batch and machinery manufacturers
- distributors, and plastics converters that shape market trends across the region.
We would be happy to welcome you as a partner; please do not hesitate to contact us!"
(László Büdy, Managing director, head of consulting)