17.06.2019, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Hidden polyolefin price drop, falling polystyrene prices
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 62.01 USD/barrel, stagnating prices
- EUR/USD: 1.1210, strong Euro
- NAPHTHA: 456.47 USD/t, stagnating prices compared to last week,
- Contracted monomer prices in June
- Ethylene (C2) contract price roll over (1,075 EUR/t),
- Propylene (C3) contract price roll over (990 EUR/t),
- Styrene monomer (SM) contract price -143 €/t (1,042 €/t)
- Weak demand for all polymers
Polymer prices are turning around. Although producers announced a polyolefin roll over, prices started to fall last week. Price decrease is not a change of declared price lists. Producers tend to encourage purchases with customized promotions and quantity discounts. However, this is counterproductive. Due to the summer, demand is always falling back, which also causes a slight drop in prices. This was inherent in the expectations. However, this year, most of the converters have been working with high stocks due to the ever-rising price trend, which they are trying to process as soon as possible at a time of falling prices. Due to this demand has dropped. There was a distributor who reported a nearly 50% drop in demand. There is also a significant drop in demand in direct polymer-plastic processing. The polyolefin market has clearly become oversupplied. This applies especially to polyethylene grades. The oversupply is exacerbated by the fact that due to the high European price level more and more import polyethylene comes mainly from the Middle and Far East and Russia. The price of these products is well below the Central European prices. Increasing import pressures and lacking demand are likely to push prices down in the second half of June. Thus, for all polyolefin grades, it is expected that the price decrease will not be evenly lower.
The SM price cut (-143 € / t) also pushed PS prices. Producers had no choice but to reduce their prices to a similar extent. Demand is very weak, partly due to stockpile processing and partly to the uncertain future of PS finished products. The new environmental regulations that apply to disposable plastic devices first affect PS. In this way converters are cautious in their purchases. In addition, expectations indicate a further decline in SM prices for July, which also has a negative impact on demand.
Typical LDPE prices were in a range of 1,050-1,140 €/t last week. However, the actual sales were in the price range of 1,050-1,100 €/t. The top value of the price range has dropped slightly. Demand is low. In Poland, there were also offers below 1,050 €, mainly for Russian grades. Sellers compete for buyers. Converters expect a further price decrease in July. As a result, prices are likely to decline in the second half of the month.
Official HDPE list prices have not changed. However, due to the weak demand that is typical here, prices are eroding. The entire central European price range is wide, with prices between 1,100 and 1,240 €/t. Moreover, the Russian and Ukrainian import HDPE prices in Poland are below 1,100 € . Weak demand forces both Central and Western European producers to adjust. Thus, in the higher price categories, with the exception of pipe grades, we expect lower price reductions in the second half of the month.
HDPE BM list prices in Central Europe were in a range of 1,100 to 1,240 €/t. The real trading price range was 1,100-1,200 €/t. Polish prices were in a range of 1,110-1,190 €/t last week. While in the rest of Central Europe, prices ranged from 1,120 to 1,240 € / t. Demand is very low.
HDPE IM prices were in the range of 1,110-1,210 € / t in Poland, while prices in the rest of Central Europe were typically in a range of 1,130-1,220 €/t. Demand is very low.
The prices of HDPE FILM grades in Poland were 1,120-1,220 €/t and in the rest of Central Europe in a range of 1,140-1,260 €/t last week. Demand is very low.
Typical HDPE (100) prices were in a range of 1,330-1,400 €/t and did not change compared to the previous May. However, some producers have not yet published their prices. However, there is less recovery in this segment. Demand is not lively, but good compared to other HDPE grades. Prices are stable. The only imminent problem is the influx of non-European imports, the price of which is below 1,300 €/t. In the second half of the month no price drop is expected.
The typical LLDPE C4 prices were in a range of 1,050-1,120 €/t last week, depending on the grade and application area. Demand is not strong, but there are problems on the supply side. While in the polymer-plastic processing industry, there are no supply problems. But there is not enough stock for distributors.
mLLDPE (C6) prices were in a range of 1,130-1,300 €/t last week. Supply is abundant. In this way the bottom values of the price range drop. For the time being, higher prices are maintained as not all grades of ExxonMobile are available, so there is no reason to reduce prices. However, other producers seem to be involved in a minor price competition. This is reflected in the expansion of the price band.
PPH prices are stable for the time being, but due to the extremely weak demand, the producer price drop is expected for some producers in the week ahead.
Typical PPH Raffia prices were in a range of 1,150-1,230 EUR/t last week. In Poland we measured prices of 1,150-1,210 € / t. While in the rest of Central Europe the prices were in a range of 1,180-1,230 €/t. In other Central European countries, prices are expected to adjust to Polish levels. A smaller price drop of around 20 € is expected.
The price of non-special PPM IM products with medium melt index was in a range of 1,160-1,240 €/t in Poland. In the other parts of Central-Europe rather a price range of 1,170-1,280 €/t was typical The price range of products with high melt index was 1,180-1,300 €/t. Prices dropped by about 20 Euro compared to the previous week. Demand is low. Converters are trying to use their existing stocks. A minor price drop by 10-20 is possible in the second half of June.
Typical PPC prices were in a range of 1,270-1,360 €/t in Central-Europe last week. There have also been news about prices close to 1,200 € , but there is no significant amount behind this. Demand is low due to stock reductions. It is a question of how much the importers are going down with prices, especially because the market is expecting further price cuts in July.
The PPR price range was 1,280-1,390 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area last week. In contrast to the HDPE pipe market, the demand for pipe grades is not good either. In the second half of the month a minor producer price drop is possible. However, this is only 10-20 €/t.
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 June 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
Weak demand, rising imports, falling prices. This is how the market can be described for all PS grades. Due to the expectation of further price cuts by market participants, demand growth will not be expected before July.
EPS prices were in a range of 1,240-1,280 €/t last week. There was no change. Unlike expectations, demand did not strengthen in the second week. The problem is the lack of capacity of construction companies due to labor shortages. Which also goes to the entire EPS insulation market. There are still available quantities at EPS producers. Thus, lower price cuts can be imagined in the second half of June.
Typical GPPS prices were in a range of 1,090-1,250 €/t, while HIPS prices were in a range of 1,145-1,300 €/t last week. Prices dropped further. Behind the fall in prices is the competition triggered by imports. Grades of Iranian origin are at the bottom of the price band, while western European materials are at the top. Demand is extremely weak.
ABS prices were in a price range of 1,430-1,650 € last week. It didn´t change over the previous week. The cheapest materials are of Asian origin and are available through distributors. European manufacturers are trying to maintain a higher price level. Demand is low. Buyers anticipate further price drop.
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