Market Report Plastics - July 2014

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1. The market for primary plastics

KI Dialog have published their biannual survey which reveals the following findings: the positive impulses that the entire plastics industry in the German-language area experienced in the second half of 2013 have seamlessly continued in the first six months of 2014. The KI Development Index indicates a marked upward trend, too. The KI Development Index, which attained approximately 115 points in the middle of this year, clearly shows that the situation is favourable. However, the KI Development Index for the six months to come, which has attained a value of 95.6 points, indicates that the mood is cooling off significantly.

Exports have risen, too. The more export-oriented companies did much more foreign business during the first six months. Expectations show the same clear picture – albeit in a slightly milder form. There are indications that the economy is picking up again substantially and sustainably.

Standard plastics: According to EUWID, the June quotes for standard plastics remained unchanged compared to the previous month. The PS price fell by an average 40 €/t. All other standard plastics quoted at this point have risen by 10 €/t on average. Even the price of packaging PET slightly increased by an average 20 €/t relative to the previous month. The June quotes are thus in line with the price rises in precursors. The experts’ market assessment is not consistent with respect to supply and demand. It will be interesting to observe whether there will be any significant market fluctuations during the relatively long summer break in July and August.

Table 1: EUWID quotes for standard plastics over the past four months, prices in €/t

Technical plastics: Technical plastics, which are listed by EUWID on a bi-monthly basis, held their own in June compared to April. However, experts expect the quotes to fall in the next few months. Some experts say that stock was sold off in May and June. The bridging days and holidays in May and June may develop into a calm summer for July and August.

Table 2: EUWID quotes for technical plastics, published bi-monthly, over the past six months; prices in €/t

2. The market for secondary plastics

In June standard plastics were quoted at stable prices in the primary markets. Secondary plastics rose slightly in July. The markets for secondary plastics proved to be stable in June - with increased demand compared to the previous month. The markets for secondary plastics are limited in supply with reference to processing input, i.e. bale goods. Or to put it differently: plastics recyclers still do not have sufficient input of satisfactory quality. Export demand has risen. The supply shortages lead to higher prices being paid in the export trade.

In addition, the situation of PP is very special. Dual systems secure themselves packaging PP to the detriment of the open plastics markets. There is hardly any PP from the packaging sector on the open markets. Plastics recyclers can thus hardly use their PP production lines to full capacity. As a consequence, EUWID indicates slight price rises in post-industrial PP, while the prices quoted in the PP markets, according to plasticker, changed only slightly in June.

2.1 EUWID Price Watch

According to the EUWID Price Watch the PVC and PS prices held their own compared to the previous month. Post-user PE and post-industrial PP showed slight price rises by 10 €/t on average. Post-industrial PE prices rose by an average 5 or 15 €/t in two cases: LDPE film grade mixed colours (K 49) 250 – 350 €/t and LDPE film grade natural (K40) 500 – 620 €/t.

Post-user PE prices changed as follows: LDPE shrink film mixed colours /E49) 240-340 €/t, PE film natural < 70 µm 410-450 €/t, PE film transparent mixed colours < 70 µm 50-180 €/t, LDPE farm film black/white > 70 µm 30-70 €/t, PE mixed film (90/10) 260-290 €/t, PE mixed film (80/20) 250-270 €/t, HDPE hollow bodies mixed colours (C29) 170-300 €/t, HDPE regrind from crates, colour-separated 680-880 €/t and HDPE regrind from crates, mixed colours 580-660 €/t.

The following post-industrial PP prices rose by an average 10 €/t: film mixed colours (K59) 140 – 250 €/t, film natural (K50) 330 – 460 €/t, homopolymer mixed colours 460-630 €/t, homopolymer natural 650-810 €/t, copolymer mixed colours 460-630 €/t, copolymer natural 650-810 €/t.

The PET market is still calm. Recyclates are still in considerable demand. The supply of beverage bottles is likely to increase in summer. Recyclers could by all means process and sell even more goods in the market. According to EUWID, the quotes for beverage bottle PET continued to hold their own in June. The following prices were thus listed by EUWID: PET transparent 250-290 €/t and PET mixed colours 60-95 €/t.

2.2 plasticker price index

The plasticker internet platform publishes quotes on an hourly basis. However, the present market report indicates the final monthly prices. The preliminary quotes previously accumulated are only represented during the reporting month in question, in this case for July 2014 - these quotes merely reflect an interim situation that does not become definitive until the following month.

Standard plastics

In June the listings for standard plastics rose by an average 15 €/t compared to the previous month. The prices of several quality grades changed; for instance, price rises ranged from 30 €/t to 160 €/t and price falls from 10 €/t to 40 €/t. The June demand was lower than that in the previous month. There are reports according to which all PP quality grades are in short supply in this market; however, so far this is not really revealed by the June quotes in plasticker. PET prices are still very low. According to plasticker the following prices changed by more than +/- 40 €/t compared to the previous month: LDPE regrind + 70 €/t, LDPE regranulates + 60 €/t and PS regranulates + 160 €/t.

The first preview of the July quotes, which cannot be finally reported until the beginning of August, indicates a prospective average price of 616 €/t. Thus, the plasticker internet platform indicated another price rise by an average 15 €/t on 24 July 2014. To date, the demand for standard plastics has been slightly higher in July than in the previous month. The prices of LDPE regrind, PP bale goods and PS regrind have risen more considerably. PS regranulates have stabilised at 1190 €/t.

Table 3: Quotes for standard plastics according to plasticker, prices in €/t.

*: Supply figures too low to attain statistical significance; 1: equivalent to the grade “post-industrial, mixed colours”; 2: equivalent to K49; 3: equivalent to K59; 4: equivalent to “standard, mixed colours”; 5: equivalent to the grade “regranulates, black”, 6: forecast (may be amended by additional quotes)

Technical plastics

: In June technical plastics prices fell by an average 34 €/t compared to the previous month. The prices of each quality grade changed significantly, with prices rising by 20 €/t to 120 €/t and falling by 40 €/t to 140 €/t. The June demand was lower than that in the previous month. According to plasticker the following listings changed by more than +/- 70 €/t for: ABS regranulates +120 €/t, PC regranulates -100 €/t, PBT regranulates -100 €/t, PA 6 regrind -110 €/t, PA 6 regranulates +100 €/t, PA 6.6 regrind -140 €/t und POM regranulates -110 €/t.

The first forecast of the July quotes, which cannot be finally reported until the beginning of August, indicates a prospective average price of 1315 €/t. To date, the July demand has been slightly higher than that in the previous month. Thus the quotes listed by the plasticker internet platform for technical plastics on 13 July 2014 remain largely consistent and low. Or to put it differently: technical plastics can still be purchased at very favourable prices.

Table 4: Quotes for technical plastics in plasticker, prices in €/t

5: equivalent to the grade "regranulates, black". 6 forecast (may be amended by additional quotes)

No guarantee for any of the prices. All EUWID prices are quoted ex works. As a rule, the prices quoted refer to quantities in excess of 20 tons. The monthly quotes for secondary plastics, which are updated on an hourly basis, can be calculated using the price lists that are derived from the quotations published in the raw material exchange plasticker (cf. The prices listed in this index are quoted with reservation - as the majority of the quotes submitted are not necessarily equivalent to the sales prices. Furthermore, plasticker does not distinguish between the following grades: transparent, mixed colours or colour-separated. Therefore, the information provided by plasticker may indicate different market behaviour than the prices quoted by EUWID. Plasticker offers the quality grades regrind and regranulates in the form of both virgin materials and secondary materials.

Information about the market for plastics is being presented by:
bvse - Bundesverband Sekundärrohstoffe und Entsorgung e.V.

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