15.04.2019, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Price increase granted, sellers uncertain
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 70.83 USD/barrel, slowly increasing prices,
- EUR/USD: 1.1306, strong Euro
- NAPHTHA: 555.05 USD/t, increasing prices
- BREXIT panic during the first half of the week.
- Demand for polyolefin and polystyrene grades alike in line with the season,
- Short LDPE, LLDPE C4, and PPH supply
Last week sellers were uncertain because of the waiting attitude of buyers experienced in the first week of April. That's why last week there were minor/major downturns mainly in the price of HDPE and PPC grades with medium-flow index. On the Polish market, one of the major Central European producers reduced the initial intent of price increase by 30-40 Euros even for LDPE. Backing down was not done by changing the price lists. It was not hard during bargaining the final price to achieve a price reduction by 5-10 € for the listed products. Maintenance at HIP-Petrohemia and HIPOL have an impact on the Central European market. From week to week, LDPE and PPH supply is shrinking and the typical purchase price band shifts upwards. LyondellBasell's LDPE plant in Aubett is still not producing at full capacity. The BREXIT panic contributed to the LDPE supply getting shorter last week. Carriers were reluctant to transport to and from Great Britain this week. So the plant of SABIC in Wilton is producing again in vain, and only a low quantity of LDPE arrived from there in our region this week. This has primarily affected the Polish market. Some say that the ever-shrinking LLDPE (C4) supply is partly due to BREXIT. PP supply is limited by the unexpected shutdown of the plant of Borealis in Schwechat and the shutdown of the cracker of DowDuPont in Böhlen. Which also affects the production at Braskem’s plant in Schkopau. Demand for polyolefin grades is good and in line with the season in Central-Europe. However, converters are increasingly looking for occasional spot buying opportunities and favorable prices. This is seen by some manufacturers and distributors as a drop in demand. Due to the two short Easter weeks ahead, we expect a slowdown on the market and in the demand.
LDPE consumers have actively purchased last week. Typical LDPE prices were in a range of 1,050-1,140 €/t last week. However, the actual deals were made in the price range of 1,080-1,120 €. The cheaper items were for smaller quantities - 1-2 truckloads. The larger buyers buying several truck loads are forced to pay the more expensive price of about 1,080 Euro/t. The slowing demand of the next 2 weeks can compensate for the short supply. Thus, in the second half of April we do not expect any significant increase in the price band.
HDPE supply has increased in Poland, resulting in slightly lower prices. Here the typical HDPE prices in Poland were in a range of 1,100-1,200 €/t. The lowest prices were associated with Uzbek HDPE. In addition, Western European HDPE was also available at prices around 1,100 € through traders. In the other parts of Central-Europe the typical price range was 1,120-1,220 €/t. The cheapest in this region are Middle Eastern (Iranian) polymers.
HDPE BM prices are in a range of 1,100-1,120 €/t in Poland, while in a range of 1,120-1,200 €/t in other parts of Central-Europe. In Poland supply is broad. In the other CE countries it is still short.
The tendency of HDPE IM prices was similar in Poland and also in the other countries of Central-Europe. Last week we have measured prices in a range of 1,110-1,200 €/t last week. Supply and demand are balanced.
In case of HDPE FILM grades, in Poland, prices were in a range of 1,100-1,200 €/t last week. In the other countries of Central-Europe the price range is 1,130-1,230 €/t. Supply and demand are balanced.
Typical HDPE (100) prices were in a range of 1,300-1,390 €/t last week. Demand is good and in line with the season.
LLDPE C4 prices started increasing due to the short supply. The price band moved about 20-30 € upwards. The typical prices were in a range of 1,040-1,120 €/t last week. However, it was possible to purchase a higher quantity at a price of 1,070-1,100 € / t. On the Polish market, large stretch film manufacturers are facing procurement problems. While the agro-stretch season is just starting.
mLLDPE (C6) prices varied in a range of 1,170-1,300 €/t, depending on the grade and producer last week. The North American grades are the cheapest, while the usual European grades are at the top of the price range.
Typical PPH prices are in a range of 1,140-1,280 €/t. In Central-Europe supply is short everywhere.
Typical PPH Raffia prices were in a range of 1,160-1,220 €/t in Central Europe. Although there are officially cheaper prices in Serbia, there is no real quantity behind this. Most deals are made in a price range of 1,180-1,220 €/t.
The price of non-special PPM IM products with medium melt index was in a range of 1,160-1,260 €/t last week. Prices for high-flow index products were in the price range of 1,190-1,280 €.
Typical PPC prices were in a range of 1,250-1,350 €/t in Central-Europe last week. Despite the aforementioned shutdowns there is no shortage. For the time being, there are still cheap spot items in a price range of 1,250-1,280 €. However, in the second half of the month, we expect the lower price band to increase and the disappearance of cheaper items.
The PPR price range was 1,290-1,380 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area last week. Demand is good and supply is short.
The typical prices of the last week are presented in the table below (full truck load 20-22.5 t):
||Typical polymer price ranges in the second week of April 2019, 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
This April may have brought a slightly more vivid EPS demand than usual. Thanks to the good weather and lively Central European investment activity. Prices increased by 90-120 €, depending on the producer. However, it could only be sold at a price increase of 90-95 €. Prices are in a range of 1,350-1,400 €. Last week goods produced in April were sold out.
Typical GPPS prices are in a price range of 1,250-1,430 €/t, while HIPS prices are in a price range of 1,320-1,510 €/t. This is broader than last week. Also cheap goods from outside Europe and Russia came on the market. Nor did the majority of European manufacturers reach the full announced monomer price increase. Supply and demand are balanced. With the appreciation of the euro, more imports are expected to slow down the rise in European prices in May.
ABS prices have remained in a very wide range. (1,500-1,700 €). The lower price band is the cheap import from the Far East, while the top are products from Europe. Demand is good and supply is broad.
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