13.06.2018, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Polyolefin price increase for sure 2
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 76.46 USD/barrel, slightly dropping prices
- EUR/USD: 1.1769, stable EURO on temporary basis
- NAPHTHA: 639.42 Euro/t, slightly dropping prices,
- increasing olefin monomer prices
- Ethylene: C2 +63 € (1,150 €/t)
- Propylene C3 +80 € (1,032 €/t)
- Styrene monomer SM +60 € (1,345 €/t)
- Increasing polymer prices,
- Buyers sit and wait,
In case of polyolefin grades polymer producers try to charge the increased feedstock prices to plastic converters. In case of LDPE 45-80 €/t, in case of HDPE 60-90 €/t, while in case of PP they published an initial price increase by 80-100 €/t. In the first half of the week converters tried to get offers from many places. Due to this the market seemed to be vivid, yet there were just a few actual orders. Converters used their best efforts to play polymer producers off against each other by “lying downwards” counter offers. Yet the narrow margins and the increasing monomer prices keep polymer producers on the track.
The split of HDPE and LDPE prices continues as well. At the present, with regard to the average prices, the difference is 40-50 € in favor of HDPE. HDPE supply is short, demand is high. In the background of the short supply, in addition to the increasing regional demand, there is also the adsorption effect of the Turkish market. In May and June there is less import HDPE arriving from Iran and in this way Turkish traders, converters started again buying significant quantities in Central-Europe. Because of this HDPE prices increase significantly, the reduced prices are at about 1,200 €. Neither the Serbian nor the Hungarian and the Czech HDPE producer have free inventory.
The situation of PP buyers did not improve either. The intention to increase prices by 80-100 € has shocked the market. Annual average prices keep on growing. This has a particularly heavy impact on buyers who have longer-term (6-12 months) fixed prices contracts. According to their statements the series of price increases make profitable shipments impossible. In the following table the average European prices in January-May of the last four years in Central-Europe are listed.
It is clear from the table that average prices are so far identical with those in 2015 or 2017. There is a significant difference in 2016 only. However the fact that prices start growing at the end of the spring season is frightening for converters. By a frightening, big jump.
So far traders benefited most from this. At last inventories started moving, now it is possible to sell with profit inventories stuck in April and May. But these prices influence significantly the prices of the first week in June.
Also PS buyers keep waiting. They did not manage to charge the 60 Euro SM price increase to the buyers. Demand is low at the present. Because of the cheap prices and the weakening Euro, import from outside of Europe is missing on the market, but not even this results in short supply.
Polymer producers tried also to push LDPE prices up, they announced price increases by 40-60 €. Also producers increased prices, bringing a part of the June price increase forward. The typical price range (price delivered, reduced with the bonus) was 1,150-1,230 € last week. Yet converters are not willing to buy at prices higher than 1,200 €. According to the reports of traders sales were possible in a range of 1,150-1,180 €/t last week. Probably this price range will remain through June. An exception are only grades with additives and higher added value.
HDPE demand is still high, prices in June are by 60-90 Euro higher than early June. Polymer producers try to push prices into a price range of about 1,200 €. But larger buyers can still buy in a range of 1,150-1,200 €. Medium-sized and smaller buyers get feedstock rather in a price range of 1,180-1,240 €. By the end of the month the average price range might move further upwards due to the short supply.
The HDPE (100) pipe season seems to be starting. Demand is good, prices increased by some 80-100 Euro. The typical price range will be 1,450-1,550 €/t. No price correction is to be expected during the month.
Also LLDPE C4 prices started increasing, and reached the range of 1,100 – 1,180 €. If the Euro gets weaker, the price increase will continue.
MLLDPE prices in May correspond to the expectations. The offered price range is 1,290-1,400 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area. In June we expect no movement, correction.
PPH producers tried to increase prices following that of monomer grades, the range of prices offered is 1,220 and 1,300 €/t. For the time being this shocked converters. Last week traders sold their inventories in a price range of 1,180-1,200 €/t. After inventories are sold out, prices are expected to stabilize on a level higher than 1,200 €. We cannot anticipate cheap materials on the market because of the shutdown of the Romanian and Serbian producer and because of their pricing policy following the market. The typical price range is expected to be 1,220-1,330 €, depending on the grade, producer and application area.
On the PPC the paper form might come true. Polymer producers increased their prices by 75-100 Euro. The typical price range in the region in June is expected to be 1,290-1,440 €/ton, depending on the grade, producer and application area. But last week there were still sales at May prices, typically also from trader inventories. For the time being buyers resist higher prices, the price level above 1,300 € is unusual. During the last 4 years only twice, and only for a short time did prices exceed 1,300 €. The question for all is now, when prices will make their turn back.
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 first 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. Polymer producers try a price increase by about 30 €, for the time being with almost no success. In this way roll-over is seems to be most probable. In this way the price range remains 1,520-1620 €/t
The demand for GPPS and HIPS was weak last week. Buyers mostly get informed. Synthos postponed the maintenance of the HIPS plant to August. In this way even the motivation for pre-purchases is gone. Polymer producers try to increase their prices though, but because of lacking demand they fail. There is a low quantity of Russian HIPS on the market, but cheap goods from Iran disappeared completely...... The European price range of GPPS was 1,350-1,440 € and in case of HIPS prices were in a range of 1,390-1,530 €/t last week.
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