17.12.2018, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Low, end-of-the-year demand, minor price erosion
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 60.28 USD/barrel, decreasing prices compared to last week,
- EUR/USD: 1.1301, EURO getting weaker
- NAPHTHA: 474.23 USD/t, decreasing prices
- low demand in case of all products,
- dropping spot monomer olefin and increasing SM prices
- Ethylene (C2) spot price (December 14 FDNWE): 770 EUR/t,
- Propylene (C3) spot price (December 14 FDNWE): 870 EUR/t,
- Styrene monomer (SM) spot price (December 14 FOB Rotterdam): 955 USD/ton
For the time being oil price is still low and the price of NAPHTHA has dropped slightly. As a result of the reduction of oil production prices will expectedly start rising again. But the spot price of olefin monomer grades has slightly dropped further. Demand came to be much weaker last week, in spite of the low prices there were just a few buyers. The uncertainty linked to next year seems to retain converters from major purchases. Polyolefin producers reduced their prices in a disciplined way, almost unanimously by 50-70 Euro. In this way, by the end of the year price ranges came to be more consistent. For the time being no major producer prepares for clearance sale and price reduction at the end of the year. Though for the time being, due to the cheap oil integrated margins are very attractive for polymer producers with integrated refinery. In this way, even in case of a minor price cut by 20-30 Euro they could still make reasonable profits. We expect a silent end of the year and a slow start next year. Most polymer producers will probably announce their prices as late as on about the 7th January.
In case of SM spot prices have started climbing, prices increased by 20 USD within one week. This is probably a sign for new upward price tendencies. During the next 2 weeks ahead until Xmas still many things might happen. With the exception of cheaper GPPS (1,220 €) there is almost no demand. The weather getting more and more wintery has almost cut off EPS demand as well, and the new EU regulation has a heavy impact on HIPS demand.
Typical LDPE prices were in a range of 1,020-1,120 €/t last week. Did not change compared to last week. Demand is low, in line with the season. And keeps dropping further. it is almost impossible to sell at prices higher than 1,120 €. In this way traders who have dead inventories from previous months are in trouble. A minor end-of-the-year price reduction by 10-15 € is possible until the end of December, but the demand is not expected to liven up significantly because of this.
HDPE prices are surprisingly consistent. There is no major difference in the prices of local producers. In Central Europe the typical prices were in a range of 1,100-1,210 €/t last week. HDPE IM prices are in a range of 1,010-1,180 € and HDPE Film and BM prices are in a range of 1,120-1,210 €. Demand is low.
In December the typical price range of HDPE (100) is 1,270-1,340 €/t. Demand is low. For the time being converters do not consider major pre-purchases at the end of the year.
The typical LLDPE C4 price range was 1,050 - 1,140 €/t. Because of the USD getting stronger a major price drop similar to that of other polyolefin grades is not probable. Demand is getting weaker continuously.
mLLDPE prices were in a range of 1,220-1,380 €/t last week. Demand is low.
PPH prices were in a range of 1,150-1,280 €/t last week. Prices did not drop. Demand is good, cheaper grades from Romania and Serbia sell very well. CE PPH raffia prices were in a range of 1,150-1,210 €/t. The price range of non-special PPM IM products with medium melt index was 1,150-1,240 €/t. The prices of products with high melt index were in a range of 1,210-1,280 €/t last week. Prices are stable. They are also expected to remain stable until the end of the year.
Typical prices of PPC grades were in a range of 1,240-1,340 €/t in Central-Europe last week. Polymer producers did not reduce their prices to the same extent, yet the price range remained unchanged. Demand is good, first of all in the price category below 1,300 €. On this price level it is already reasonable to buy, even in advance.
The PPR price range was 1,280-1,400 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area last week. Demand is low.
The prices to be expected during the first week of December are presented in the table below (full truck load 20-22.5 t):
||Typical polymer price ranges in the second week of December, 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
Last week in Central Europe EPS prices were in a range of 1,260-1,370 €/t. Demand came almost to a halt. Due to the end of the year. The insulation material season will restart as late as March, April. In this way only large companies continuously producing for the warehouse buy in advance.
The demand for GPPS and HIPS dropped as well. Grades produced in the EU are not available at all. Import from outside of Europe is expensive. The typical GPPS price range was 1,200-1,300 €. HIPS prices were in a range of 1,210-1,320 €.
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