22.08.2018, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Season to start this week
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 71.83 USD/barrel, dropping prices
- EUR/USD: 1.1439, EURO stagnating
- NAPHTHA: 629.75 USD/t, slightly dropping prices
- Olefin monomer spot prices slight increase +5 €/t
- SM spot price slight drop
- weak regional currencies,
- high converter inventory levels,
- summerlike demand
Summer holidays ended last week. During the week ahead both sellers and buyers will be back. We expect the demand to grow significantly. For the time being not in purchases, but in the communication. Everyone tries to build the best strategy for the fall season ahead.
Because of the eroding oil and naphtha prices olefin monomer price increase is not probable. Rather roll-over, maybe a slight drop by less than 20 Euro is probable.
The big question of the fall season will be feedstock supply. The following CE producers prepare for maintenance, shutdown:
- Unipetrol – Litvinov (200 kt/year capacity) – as of September 3, 2018.
- BOP – Plock (320 kt/year capacity) – as of September 17, 2018
- MOL – Tiszaújváros (220 kt/year capacity) – as of September 24, 2018.
- Unipetrol – Litvinov (280 kt/year capacity) – capacity reduction by some 30% as of August 20, 2018
- MOL – Tiszaújváros (100 kt/year capacity) – as of September 24, 2018
- MOL – Bratislava (255 kt/year capacity) – as of October 15, 2018
- To boot in case of Lyondell Basell shutdown is expected in Wesseling and Ferrara in October and November.
- No shutdown, production reduction is expected in the fall season in Central Europe,
- in Western Europe the plant of Lyondell Basell in Wesseling (230 kt/year capacity) will be down for maintenance as of September 15, 2018.
All this means that in case of HDPE short supply will persist. In this way it is probable that in parallel with the demand getting more dynamic polymer producers can increase their margin. In case of PP the demand getting weaker lately might be boosted by the supply getting shorter. In this way a change of propylene prices following monomer prices is probable. The weak period of LDPE seems to continue, in this way the further drop of the margin at polymer producers is not impossible.
In case of PS no shutdown, capacity reduction can be expected. The prices are, as always, now also set by the world market. The SM spot price has been increasing continuously since early August, as do European spot PS prices as well. The market expects the “usual” SM and PS price increase, which will, in the light of the facts known so far, exceed 50 Euro/t.
The low demand for LDPE has further reduced the prices. Prices varied in a price range of 1,060-1,140 € last week. In case the demand will not get more dynamic, then we shall be prepared for a further price drop.
HDPE supply is short, in case of BM and MDPE grades in particular. In spite of this the price range widened slightly, in the southern region prices have dropped slightly. This might have happened because of the lower demand caused by the summer holidays. The typical price range was 1,120-1,240 € last week. Because of the short fall supply prices will expectedly increase, compared to the monomer price change they will increase by some 10-20 €.
The demand for HDPE (100) pipe is summer-like, the typical price range remained stable: 1400-1520 €/t, but individual European producers went below this level with their prices last week, in order to boost the demand.
The CE prices of LLDPE C4 remained unchanged: 1,080– 1,190 € /t in Poland 1,100-1,130 €. Demand is low, supply is sufficient.
The price range of mLLDPE did not change (1,260-1,400 €) last week. The price of grades produced in Europe is 1,290-1,400 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area.
PPH demand was not high last week. The typical price range was 1,220-1,360 €. Demand is low, as usual in August. Mostly traders bought from producers. They tried to get prepared for shorter feedstock supply.
In Central-Europe last week the PPC price range was 1,300-1,440 €/t, depending on the grade and application area. Demand is low. Demand can be expected to get more dynamic next week.
The typical PPR price range is 1,300-1,460 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area. Demand is low.
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 Aug and first week of August, 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
In case of EPS the insulation material market is still weak, due to the high summer temperature and the holidays. But there is no material available on the market any more, producers prepare for price increase. The typical offer price range in Central Europe is 1,520-1,590 €/t. Demand can be expected to get more dynamic next week.
The GPPS and HIPS markets enjoyed the last summer week, they were at rest. Low demand and retained supply were typical for the market. During the 10 days ahead of us prices will probably start increasing, in parallel with the demand getting more dynamic. The average price of GPPS produced in Europe is in a range of 1,380- 1,500 €. HIPS prices are in a range of 1,460-1,600 EUR.
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