18.02.2019, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Supply and demand differ from product group to product group
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 64.57 USD/barrel, slightly increasing prices,
- EUR/USD: 1.1267, EURO getting weaker
- NAPHTHA: 475.4 USD/t, increasing prices
- Unbalanced demand,
- Slightly increasing SPOT monomer olefin and SM prices
- Ethylene (C2) spot price (FD NWE): +15 EUR/t compared to the status at the beginning of the month (800 EUR/t),
- Propylene (C3) spot price (FD NWE): +5 EUR/t compared to early the month, Styrene monomer (SM) spot price (FOB Rotterdam): +15
- USD/t compared to one week ago (1,005 USD/t),
Generally good, broad supply,
European economy and polymer demand slowing down. As we wrote last week, converters are precautious. The mood of the market is not optimistic. Though nobody reported a significant drop of demand and fallback. Yet there is a general bad mood among converters. There are two reasons for this; one is that the opinion that economic slowdown, recession is at hand starts to be generally spreading. The other reason is that the market starts to be chaotic. Numerous new players appeared recently, with more and more “exotic” polymers. The more “exotic”, the cheaper. In case of LDPE and PPC it is general that the price of these polymer grades is in the bottom of the price range, the problem is that often this is scheduled to be supplied in March. This means that the bottom of the price range will be on this level in March as well. In this way it will be difficult to make the usual price increase in March. Spot monomer prices in the middle of February do not forecast the increase of contractual monomer prices for March. NAPHTHA and oil prices increased also just a little. In addition the purchasing habits of converters have changed significantly last year. Actual orders, purchases were shifted to the second half of the month. When polymer producers are already willing to offer minor or major rebates in order to fulfil their sales plan. The same happens also this February. Otherwise the season has started, as due to the favorable weather the production of plastics products both for construction and agriculture has started. For the time being the volume of orders also seems to be not lower than last year. Though the one-off order size of finished products and polymer grades as well decreased, yet converters order more frequently. All this purports as if converters would buy “more slowly”. The increased frequency of “spot” purchases from unusual sources has also contributed to the reduction of the demand and to this feeling. Converters who are not bound by a certain grade buy alternative grades more and more frequently from new sources. All in all, on the market for plastic conversion the demand is good like it usually is in February, both in case of polyolefin and polystyrene grades.
Typical LDPE prices were in a range of 950-1,050 €/t last week. The shutdown of the plant of SABIC in Wilton did not move prices upwards either. For the time being Rompetrol does not offer LDPE grades for export either. The bottom of the price range stabilized clearly at 950 €/t. This price covers first of all grades imported from outside of Europe in small quantities. And it means the prices for major buyers corrected by the end-of-the-year bonuses. Demand is good. Sellers anticipate the market to become more dynamic during the next 2 weeks. The fact that the shutdown of HIP-Petrohemija in the second half of March will decrease the pressure exerted by supply, first of all in the southern region, motivates purchases.
In Central Europe the typical HDPE prices remained in a range of 1,050-1,160 €/t. HDPE IM was available in a range of 1,050 -1,120 €/t. HDPE Film prices increased a bit, they were in a range of 1,070-1,160 €/t. HDPE BM grades were available in a price range of 1,070-1,160 €/t. Supply is good. Demand is getting stronger.
HDPE (100) prices did not change significantly, they are in a range of 1,240-1,320 €/t. The season seems to be starting. Demand is getting dynamic. In construction in almost all countries of Central-Europe growth is to be expected.
LLDPE C4 prices were in a range of 950 - 1,020 €/t last week. The price range dropped by some 20 €. Price reduction gave a boost to demand.
mLLDPE prices are in a range of 1,130-1,340 €/t. For the time being prices did not change. Yet the price drop observed last year, in case of C6 in particular, is expected to continue, because of the new capacities entering.
PPH prices stabilized in a range of 1,110-1,240 €/t. Demand is high. In addition to Russian producers LyondellBasell is also struggling with supply problems in Central-Europe. In this way PPH demand is expected to remain high also during the next two weeks.
PPH Raffia prices stabilized in a range of 1,100-1,160 €/t. The price range of non-special PPM IM products with medium melt index was 1,110-1,180 €/t. The prices of products with high melt index were in a range of 1,170-1,240 €/t last week. We did not see “exotic” PP homopolymer grades from outside of Europe. Correspondingly the supply is short.
Typical prices of PPC grades were in a range of 1,190-1,300 €/t in Central-Europe last week, they did not change compared to the previous week. Due to the import from outside of Europe supply is abundant. Demand is good and in line with the season.
The PPR price range was 1,240-1,340 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area, they remained on the level of the previous week. Demand is good and supply is satisfactory. In the second half of the month dynamic demand is expected.
The typical 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 February, 2019, 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
Also last week in Central Europe EPS prices were in a range of 1,200-1,280 €/t. Because of the good weather demand is good. But EPS feedstock producers accept no orders any more. In March demand increasing further is expected. During the first six months high demand will be typical in all countries of Central-Europe.
On the GPPS/HIPS market there are no cheap quantities any more. The policy of traders not to launch their inventories at that price level yielded results. Typical GPPS prices increased to a price range of 1,170-1,220 €/t again. HIPS prices were in a range of 1,220-1,300 €/t last week. Demand is good.
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