12.08.2019, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Holiday season with better than expected demand
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 57.38 USD/barrel, increasing prices,
- EUR/USD: 1.118, Euro getting stronger
- NAPHTHA: 436.16 USD/t, falling prices,
- Relatively good sales in August,
- The monomer price drop is over
- Ethylene (C2) contract price +10€/t (1,010 EUR/t),
- Propylene (C3) contract price Roll-over (910 EUR / t),
- Styrene monomer (SM) contract price +33 EUR/ t (1,027 EUR/t),
- Polyolefin roll-over,
- Limited PS price increase,
- Demand better than expected
The final August prices quickly formed this week. Demand is weak, but slightly better than expected. Some converters secure themselves now, they are now buying at a low price, in many cases with late August delivery. Prices are close to this year´s lowest level. In September, PPH and LDPE are unlikely to be that close to the 1,000 EUR price level. There are also skeptical companies that are expecting even lower prices for September due to oil and NAPHTHA price cuts. Against these expectations, NAPHTHA prices are at their June level, which has resulted in a massive July monomer price drop. And in August, olefin monomers did not rise (the price increase of C2 + 10 is more of a roll-over +). As a result, the NAPHTHA price drop does not yet mean a monomer price drop. Another important fact is that the market is on leave. Both plastic converters, their customers and polymer producers. This not only means fewer orders, but also slower cash flow. Thus, in spite of favorable purchasing opportunities, narrower cash flow discourages customers from buying in advance. The general holiday season is expected to end by the 19th. And then the market and cash flow are expected to rebound until the end of the month.
The price of SM has increased as expected (+33 EUR / t). However, due to weak demand, prices for polystyrene could not increase to the same extent. Like the polyolefin grades, the autumn season is expected to start after August 19th.
Typical LDPE prices were in a range of 980-1,050 €/t last week. The cheapest prices are surprisingly from big European producers. While Central European producers are trying to maintain the price level around € 1,000. Most deals are made in a price range of 980-1,020 €/t. Demand has been better than expected last week. Cheap commodities are expected to disappear in the week ahead. And from August 19th, the bottom of the price range will be 990 and 1,000 €.
HDPE prices have also stabilized. Typical prices were in a range of 1,020-1,140 €/t. Demand is lowest in this product group. The biggest Central European producer is trying to stimulate demand with significant price reductions after a significant (-20 €) price cut. So far, with not much success.
Typical HDPE BM list prices in Central Europe were in a range of 1,020-1,100 €/t. In this way the bottom values of the price range have slightly dropped compared to July. Demand is good and supply is broad.
Typical HDPE IM prices ranged from 1,020 - 1,100 €/t in Central Europe. They did not change compared to July. Supply is good, demand is low.
HDPE Film grade prices were in a range of 1,020-1,120 €/t in Central-Europe. Demand is weak, rather MDPE grades are sought after, but their supply is still limited. Availability is expected only as late as by the end of August.
Typical HDPE (100) prices were in a range of 1,235-1,300 €/t last week. The cheap Saudi Arabian feedstock is sold out. The price range came to be narrower. The demand is in line with the season. Converters now have their main holiday season.
The typical LLDPE C4 prices were in a range of 980-1,040 €/t last week, depending on the grade and application area. It didn´t change over the previous week. Supply and demand are balanced, both are weak. However, prices may start rising in the second half of August in parallel with Asian factory shutdowns and supply shortages. However, price changes are not expected in the week ahead.
mLLDPE (C6) prices were in a range of 1,120-1,250 €/t last week. Supply is good, demand is low. Prices have not changed compared to the previous week and will not change during the week ahead either.
PPH prices have generally remained unchanged. There were minor price reductions only in the PPH Raffia segment for smaller volumes. Goods are available at polymer producers. However, there is no willingness to reduce prices. Everyone is waiting for the end of the holiday season, hoping that the market will come to life and that prices and demand will rise. This expectation is supported by the fact that there is a lot of informal interest but little purchase.
The typical price of PPH Raffia in Poland was 980-1,080 €/t, while in other countries of Central Europe they were in a range of 990-1,100 €/t last week. Demand is weak and Central European polymer producers are trying to keep prices above € 1,000. We expect very weak demand in the week ahead.
The price of non-special PPM IM products with medium melt index was in a range of 1,000-1,130 €/t in Poland. Some smaller lots were sold at prices below 1,000 EUR/t. The prices in other Central European countries were in the range of 1,010-1,150 € / t. The prices of high flow index grades in Poland were in a range of 1,060-1,160 €/t and in other Central European countries in a range of 1,090-1,180 €/t. Demand is weak, the availability of all grades is good.
Typical prices for PPC were in a range of 1,150-1,240 EUR/t in Central Europe. Roll over happened. Cheaper South Korean materials are out of the market. Now, the bottom of the price range is the seasonal prices of Western European producers.
PPR was in the range of 1,190-1,270 €/t last week, compared to July the prices in the top band of the price range have dropped slightly. The bottom of the price band hasn´t changed in principle. However, we received news from Poland of sales in a range of 1,150-1,180 EUR/t in case of the products of Western European producers.
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 Aug 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
EPS prices were in a range of 1,170-1,240 €/t last week. Customers did not accept EPS price increases following the SM price increase. Only 15-20 €/t price increase has passed through the market. So far EPS demand is weak. Both converters and polymer producers are hoping for the season to start on the 19th.
Typical GPPS prices were in a range of 1,100-1,200 €/t, while HIPS prices were in a price range of 1,145-1,250 €/t . As indicated, the rise in prices did not go through due to weak demand. Customers accept a price increase of only 10-15 Euro. Euro is expected to recover and low-cost import from outside of Europe will continue to be available.
ABS prices were in a price range of 1,400-1,590 € last week. Demand is low. European producers have officially raised their prices following the SM price increase. But there are still very cheap items around 1,400 Euro on the market. Probably from earlier production.
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