03.07.2017, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Polyolefin price correction in July
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- balanced supply,
- low demand,
- BRENT oil price 47.92 USD, tendency of dropping prices
- EUR getting stronger, EUR/USD exchange rate permanently close to 1.14
- Monomer (C2) and propylene monomer (C3) price reduction by 50 €.
The 50 € price drop surprised the market. Last week traders have already forecast a dynamic demand for July. They were of opinion that purchases would start as early as in July, as polymer prices have dropped to a level not seen for a long time. In advance market players calculated with a monomer price drop by 20-30 €, the reduction by 50 € is a surprise.
The price drop by 20-30 € happened as early as June both in case of PE and PP. The question is whether there is going to be another drop by 20 €. Our answer is: there will be some producers, who will do that, others won’t.
The monomer price drop by 50 € has also one absolute advantage. This allows producers with prices stuck on high level to bring them back to the level of competitors. In this way we can anticipate that on markets with high prices (e.g. in Hungary) there will be a major price correction, reduction both in case of PP and PE.
The extent of the styrene monomer price change was not known at the time when our report was written, it is also hard to forecast it, both minor decrease and slight increase are possible. The PS market is still balanced. This week the July price of SM came into the focus of interest.
In case of LDPE the price ranges were unchanged, the market is already waiting for the price ranges to hit bottom. The lowest prices remained within the still very broad range of 1,130-1,220 €. The price range for medium-sized buyers is 1,230-1,270 €. Here there are also sufficient quantities of goods available. In case of the July prices a price drop by 20-30 € is anticipated. This can be different, depending on the buyer and producer concerned, the price drop by 50 € allows to pull the two extreme values of the price ranges together as we have indicated in our forecasts.
Low HDPE demand continued and it is not expected to increase in July either. On the average we anticipate a price decrease by 30-50 € and the two extreme values of the price range getting closer. It is possible that some prices of Serbian producers will be below 1,000 €.
The pipe market is dynamic, there is season for those products. We do not expect major price drop, prices will be reduced by an average 25-45 €.
LLDPE C4 supply is still low, but the product is absolutely following monomer prices, thus we anticipate a price drop by 40-60 €, the new price range will be 1,100-1,150 €. The reason is in particular that due to the € getting stronger an increasing quantity of imported goods arrives in Central-Europe as well.
PPH demand is consistent. The price range of simple grades is still 1,050-1,100 €. Unfortunately the monomer price reduction by 50 € at the southern producers of the region “pushes” prices below 1,000 €. Such a thing did not happen for a long time. In case of PPH the absolute necessity of a price correction exceeding monomer prices is palpable in case of many producers. In this way prices will get into balance slowly, by the middle of the month only.
In case of PPC we anticipate a price drop by 40-60 €. The latter will be the price correction of prices sticking on high price level. Large buyers can buy in a price range of 1,140-1,180, medium-sized ones in a range of 1,190-1,220 €. Because of the expected correction it will take time for prices to get balanced.
In case of PPR we anticipate no surprises, following monomer prices is the probable scenario. Depending on the grade, the new prices will be in a range of 1,150-1,270 €.
The prices of the last week and the producer price ranges expected for early July are presented in the table below (full truck load 20-22.5 t):
||Typical polymer price ranges in the last week of June, 2017, Central Europe (€/ton)||Expected polymer price ranges in the first week of July, 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
The styrene monomer price is not yet known. Market players, buyers do not anticipate significant price changes in July. For the time being even the direction is a question mark, as the SM price underwent a downward correction, but PS prices from European source show an increase.
The main season for EPS will start in July, the ideal thing would be a slightly increasing SM price. In that case major disturbances on the market could be avoided. According to the opinion of market players an increase by 20-30 € would be ideal, and this price would also follow the increased demand for EPS. The ideal price range would be 1,340-1,420 €.
GPPS demand is good, supply is broad. There is a strong, increasing import supply from Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Egypt and Russia alike. This means that local producers have to get adapted to import prices that are getting cheaper and cheaper due to the strong €. The market is under pressure to reduce prices, but the price of SM will determine the direction. At any rate it is sure that in case of increasing SM it will be difficult to enforce price increase.
In case of HIPS demand is good and supply is stable. We experienced no change compared to last week. The price change of July will absolutely be following monomer prices.
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