20.06.2018, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Increasing prices, demand getting stronger,
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 75.94 USD/barrel, slightly dropping prices
- EUR/USD: 1.1568, stable EURO on temporary basis
- NAPHTHA: 636.97 Euro/t, slightly dropping prices,
- hesitating SPOT olefin monomer prices
- Ethylene: C2 after increasing to 1,150 €/t came back to the contractual price level
- Propylene: C3 1,120 €/t price permanently increasing
- Styrene monomer: SM 1,350 €/t,
- increasing polymer prices,
The price increase slowly slides through the system, both in case of PP, PE and PS. Most converters have already ordered the feedstock quantity they need for June. Yet many still keep waiting this week. Though one or two producers make minor, customized price corrections for individual buyers this week, but these did not significantly influence the market. The availability of cheaper polymer grades from distributors has highly deteriorated the acceptance of prices in June, reflecting the May price level. In this way for many the fact of the price increase is not clear. But most think the price increase will continue in July as well, even if not at the rate similar to June, but an increase by 20-40 € can be anticipated both in case of PE and PP. The situation is well illustrated by the change of spot monomer prices. Propylene spot prices increased by 76 € compared to the beginning of the month and this is not a positive indication for July. Propylene price increase can almost be taken for granted. Ethylene C2 spot price is more or less stable, it returned to the contractual level after a slight increase. The mood of buyers seems to turn, and handle the option of price increase as a reality they are more and more willing to accept.
Demand for polyolefin grades is good, buyers partially try to buy in advance. In Poland there is still a sort of some skepticism, here a part of buyers keeps waiting. They wait for the usual end-of-the-month price rebates. Though in the second half of June we do not expect sale pressure, special offers from polymer producers. Because of the maintenance activities at hand rather inventory building is typical for polymer producers. Many LDPE converters have increased their inventories, expecting that LDPE prices close to monomer prices will come to an end soon. This pre-purchase will slowly create balance also on the LDPE market struggling for so long.
Polymer producers gave less feedstock to distributors in June. In the southern region the effect of this is particularly palpable. For the time being it is not possible to know whether this will be regular or whether this will be typical for June only. In our opinion polymer producers try to maximize their low margins, partially by taking over also the buyers of distributors.
Also PS buyers keep waiting, the market is down. The demand is not too high. Based on the experiences of the recent years converters anticipate the increase of SM prices, and parallel with this also the increase of PS prices. There are very low quantities of imported material on the market, and this will also probably remain like this because of the weakening Euro.
Polymer producers tried also to push cheap LDPE prices up, the lowest prices start from 1,160 €. The typical price range (price delivered, reduced with the bonus) was 1,160-1,240 € last week. However minor older inventories keep popping up regularly in a price range of 1,130-1,150 €, but there are no higher quantities behind. General grades were available last week in a range of 1,150-1,180 €/t. The price of grades with additives and higher added value is above 1,200 Euro. We experienced minor pre-purchases, but polymer producers still have got inventories to sell.
HDPE demand is still high, prices stabilized in June and are by 60-90 Euro higher than in May. Prices start from about 1,200 €. But in Poland HDPE is available from as much as 1,170 €. With the exception of the materials of Unipetrol the grades of all other producers were available. But in the second half of the month demand is expected to get short. Polymer producers try to accumulate stock. The typical price range was in Poland 1,170-1,220 € while in the other part of Central-Europe we have measured a typical price range of 1,190-1,240 €.
The HDPE (100) pipe season has started. Demand is good, prices increased by some 80-100 Euro. The typical price range will be 1,440-1,550 €/t. Converters expect a further price increase.
LLDPE C4 prices increased further, we measured a price range of 1,120 – 1,190 €. The weakening of the Euro might result in a further price increase.
mLLDPE prices remained in the range of 1,290-1,400 €/t of last week, depending on the grade, producer and application area. We do not anticipate further price increase in June.
There is a high variation of PPH prices offered. Demand is good. There are still quantities in a price range of 1,170-1,200 € to have. These are typically offers by traders/distributors and do not apply to inventories produced in June. The prices of CE polymer producers are in a range of 1,200-1,300 €. Because of the increase of propylene spot prices we expect increasing demand.
On the PPR market the typical price range is 1,270-1,400 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area. The typical price range was in Poland 1,127-1,350 € while in the other part of Central-Europe we have measured a typical price range of 1,290-1,390 €. Because of the sudden price increase some converters complained and could achieve a minor price decrease by 10-15 €. But for finished product manufacturers this is still too high.
The typical PPR price range is 1,300-1,440 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area.
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 second week of June, 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 demand is still moderate. Lacking demand following strong January and February still persists. First of all the demand for finished products is low, the insulation season has not started yet. But producers anticipate a good and strong season, construction in CE is running at high speed. Polymer producers try a price increase by about 30 €, for the time being with almost no success. The typical price range is 1,520-1,620 €.
The demand for GPPS and HIPS was moderate last week. Polymer producers entered the market with a price increase by 30-60 €. As there is no import, the price increase is successful. There is a low quantity of Russian HIPS on the market, but there are still no cheap goods from Iran. The European price range of GPPS was 1,380-1,500 € and in case of HIPS prices were in a range of 1,440-1,600 €/t last week.
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