09.07.2018, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Uncertain polyolefin, decreasing PS prices
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 77.11 USD/barrel, stagnating prices
- EUR/USD: 1,1744, Euro still getting weaker,
- NAPHTHA: 650.08 USD/t, slightly increasing prices
- partially dropping contract monomer prices in July
- Ethylene (C2): 1,135 €/t (∆:-15€/t)
- Propylene (C3): 1,032 €/t (∆: 0.0 €/t)
- Styrene monomer (SM) 1,295, -50,0 €/t
- weak regional currencies,
The response of polymer producers to monomer price changes was not clear. The typical demand for LDPE is still extremely low and we have to anticipate this also during the summer months. This might mean again polymer prices close to the monomer prices and by the middle of August even lower prices than that on the spot market. There is a significant demand for “prime” materials, for the time being it cannot be expected to grow significantly. In case of HDPE producers did not change prices as demand is good. However converters buying in regional currencies experienced price increase, the currencies getting weaker have an impact on the market. The Serbian producer is forced to decrease its prices to adapt to the market prices. The price of LLDPE is clearly being moved by the weakening of currencies compared to the USD, in this way the price has been continuously increasing for two months.
Rather roll-over is typical for PP, in spite of the fact that the Polish producer decreased its prices by 20-30 Euro. Converters are hesitant to accept high prices. More and more companies blend prime material with off-grade material to make the finished product cheaper. Also PP producers feel frustration on the market, and even if not on system-level, there are possibilities for minor, individual price decrease.
The reduction of SM prices by 50 € was accompanied by a similar PS price reduction. The biggest CE producer reduced its prices by 50-70 Euro, while the other one by only 20-50 Euro. Because of the weakening of the USD the quantity of import products is low on the market, and what is available is also relatively expensive.
The high oil and NAPHTHA prices will persist through the summer, which keeps the high monomer prices up, and by the end of the summer also the increase of SM prices is expected. For the time being no price reduction is expected, we anticipate almost unchanged prices by the end of August.
LDPE prices still depend on the demand. But the demand is very low. This means a low price close to that of monomer. This means a price range of 1,150-1,200 € in the central region. In the SCE region local producers have further reduced their prices, here the price range is 1,130-1,170 €. In Poland we have measured typical prices in a range of 1,120-1,170 €.
HDPE supply is still short. In this way polymer producers tried to keep the prices on the level of last month. This means a price range of 1,170-1,220 €/t. In the southern region the Serbian producer is forced to decrease its prices to adapt to the market. Price reduction is typical for the Polish market only, in spite of the short supply. The Polish producer came up with a price reduction following or even exceeding monomer prices, which pulled also the prices of others down. In this way HDPE prices dropped into a price range of 1,110-1,170 €/t.
The demand for HDPE (100) pipe is good, the typical price range of 1,420-1,550 €/t did not change, but the average price has slightly dropped, which is due to the correction of the high June prices.
LLDPE C4 prices remained, for the time being, in a price range of 1,080 – 1,190 €. The weakening of the Euro came to a halt. But in the course of the summer we expect the Euro to get weaker. This pulls also prices upwards. We have measured the cheapest prices in Poland, in a range of 1,080-1,140 €.
mLLDPE prices remained on the June price level, in the range of 1,290-1,400 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area.
In case of PPH there was typically roll-over. The typical price range is 1,180-1,250 € depending on the grade and application area. The quantity of import is low at the present, there is almost nothing from outside of Europe and materials from Russia are also represented in low quantities. Only WE and Russian producers increased prices by up to 20 Euro. The prices of CE PP producers start at 1,200 €.
In case of PPC there was typically roll-over. Only the Polish PPC producer reduced prices. The typical price range in June is 1,250-1,350 €/ton, depending on the grade, producer and application area. But material from South-Korea appeared on the market, via trader, at a price of about 1,300 €.
The typical PPR price range is 1,310-1,440 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area. There was roll-over.
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 first week July, 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
*Polish prices show a lower price by 30-40 € lower for HDPE BM, HDPE Film and HDPE IM.
EPS demand was low last week. Converters waited for prices. The average price reduction by 50 € and the insulation season that is at hand will probably increase the demand. The typical price range remained 1,470-1,570 €.
The demand for GPPS and HIPS was weak last week. Summer holidays are “palpable”. It is not by chance that also big WE producers decreased prices following monomer prices. For the time being importers sit and wait for events upcoming with price announcements. The price of GPPS produced in Europe is in a range of 1,420- 1,520, and that of HIPS in a range of 1,460-1,550. The price of import products should compete with these prices.
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