12.02.2018, nur in Englisch verfügbar
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 64.81 USD/barrel, dropping
- EUR/USD: 1.2243
- NAPHTHA: 549,5 USD/t, decreasing price tendency,
- Monomer prices in February,
- Ethylene (C2): +20 €/t, increased
- Propylene (C3): +28 €/t, increased
- Styrene (SM): +130, increased
This week the price of all polymer producers came to be known. Producers in Central Europe followed each other increasing prices. In case of polyethylene and polystyrene grades not even the monomer price change was enforced in every case. Yet in case of polypropylene, while demand is good, prices increased at a rate exceeding monomer price change. In case of PP surprisingly prices closed in on the whole CE market, that is now prices in Poland and in other CE countries are very close to each other. The main seasons from last year is at hand. The increasing activity of buyers shows this. Polymer producers and distributors reported a demand more dynamic than in January. This week the mood of the market is determined by the expectation of further price increases in March. Many thought that maybe it will be worth to buy in advance as early as in February. But the reduction of oil and naphtha prices by Friday made plastic converters uncertain, as this might pull also monomer prices down. It is a fact that in case of ethylene monomer prices are higher by 60 € and in case of propylene by 120 € higher than one year earlier. In case of both monomers they exceed significantly the highest level of last year. Yet seen from the production side, PP supply is uncertain because of the shutdowns in Western Europe, and prices are significantly detached from those in the West, in this way polymer price reduction is not probable even if monomer prices drop. However in case of ethylene and polyethylene prices the situation is different. Demand is not the highest and PE supply is also extremely broad. In this way ethylene and polyethylene are also exposed. This means that the price curve that was flat so far, can continue in case of polyethylene and this can also prevent monomer price increase. However on the styrene and PS market the “usual” unpredictability remains. Because of the expected maintenance activities further price increase is probable in March, both in case of SM and PS.
From this follows that in case of PP, pre-purchases due to the price increase in March will be added to the February demand. This makes the anyway short PPC and PPR supply shorter, keeping up the increasing price tendency. In case of PE the broad supply and “convenient” demand being typical for the recent months will remain.
The situation of LDPE sellers did not become less difficult. Though demand increased significantly, due to the broad supply and the high polymer inventories at producers prices were able to follow, on the average, monomer price changes only. In this way the complete price range, with the exception of the southern region, moved by 20 € up, now CE prices are in a range of 1,150-1,210. But the typical price range where deals are made is 1,180 – 1,210 €/t. In the southern region last week prices did not move and were in a range of 1,120-1,180. The typical price range where deals are made in the southern region is 1,140-1,180 €. The Serbian and Romanian producer is expected to increase prices following monomer prices until the middle of February. Yet a price increase in Central Europe is not anticipated.
The HDPE FILM grade market came to be dynamic last week. Demand increased for MDFE Film grades in particular. The price of these products was in a range of 1,080-1,140 €, depending on the grade and producer. It was very hard to sell BM grade at increased price last week. Last week buyers could accept a price increase by 10-15 € only. The price of BM grades varied in a range of 1,060-1,100 €. The cheapest prices are still the simplest IM grades, in a range of 1,050-1,120 €.
The HDPE pipe (100) price range is 1,390-1,480 € in February. Polymer producers enforced the price increase. However after the campaigns in January no major demand shall be anticipated. What is more, because of the pre-purchases in January also the demand in March seems to be low.
LLDPE C4 prices are almost unchanged, we measured prices in a range of 1,120-1,180 €. We have measured the cheapest price (1,120 €) in the southern region and in Poland. But in the MCE region offers vary in a range of 1,140-1,180 €.
Typical mLLDPE prices did not change practically, polymer producers came up with offers in a range of 1,260-1,330 €. Supply is broad, there are many producers being present on the CE market.
The drama of the PPH market persists in the southern region. Though the Serbian producer increased his prices to the regional price level (1,140 -1,160 €). The prices of the Romanian producer are still low beyond comprehension. There is no significant availability yet behind the price of 1,060-1,080 €/t. In the other regions of Central-Europe the prices are typically in a range of 1,170-1,230 Euro. The price increase following monomer prices and in many cases exceeding it was accepted. No there is no major difference between Poland and the other regions. Availability is good, with the exception of IM grades with low melt index.
PPC prices underwent a similar development all over Central Europe. The price increase following monomer prices and in many cases exceeding it was accepted. Early during the week we still could see prices in a range of 1,240-1,260 €, but the market corrected quickly. In the second half of the week rather prices in a range of 1,270-1,300 € were typical. The effect of “force majeure” from the Northwest is palpable, the supply is shorted than in January.
On the PPR market the cheapest prices were still in a range of 1,270-1,300 €. But February prices reachable for all were already in a range of 1,300-1,370 €. Supply is short, demand is dynamic.
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 first week of February, 2018, 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 producers increase their prices by 80-100 €. Converters are still evaluating the offers. They are typically still willing to accept a price increase by 80 €. The warehouses of converters are at the present full of feedstock, but the season is starting slowly. In the second half of the month demand is expected to get more dynamic.
GPPS, HIPS producers came up with a price increase following monomer prices last week, but the reaction of the market was sceptic. Due to this we saw corrections as early as last week, in this way the effective price increase was 100-130 €. For the time being importers still wait for the reactions of the market, in this way the import GPPS and HIPS prices for February are not yet known. But the market allows a price increase by at least 60 €.
"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)