21.01.2019, nur in Englisch verfügbar
Stable prices, minor polyethylene price reduction
The following factors influenced “commodity” polymer prices and price expectations last week:
- BRENT oil price 61.18 USD/barrel, stagnating prices
- EUR/USD: 1.1392, EURO getting weaker
- NAPHTHA: 460.89 USD/t, decreasing prices
- Demand is as usual in January, below the average.
- Increasing SPOT monomer olefin and SM prices
- Ethylene (C2) spot price (FD NWE): +40 EUR/t compared to one week ago (785 EUR/t),
- Propylene (C3) spot price (FD NWE): +5 EUR/t compared to one week ago (905 EUR/t), compared to the beginning of the month an increase by 30 Euro
- Styrene monomer (SM) spot price (FOB Rotterdam): +10 USD/t compared to one week ago (950 USD/t),
- Broad polyethylene and polypropylene supply.
Last week prices for January came to be clear-cut. In case of polyethylene grades this meant a clear further price drop in terms of average prices. The bottom line of price ranges did not move significantly downwards. Rather the average buying price dropped a bit. In case of polyethylene grades now the signs of import from overseas, first of all from America are clearly visible. These are no longer the ad hoc import quantities, but the first shipments, samples from new polyethylene plants being started up. European converters make friends with names like Westlake Chemicals. In the area of LDPE the Autoclave technology is well known also in our region. LDPE produced in this way is particularly good to use in older extruders. Lowest HDPE prices are offered by polymer producers located in South-Korea. Central-European producers follow prices below 1,100 € in case of some products only. The same feedstock and spot ethylene price would in normal case pull up price expectations in February. Yet the ever increasing import supply curbs price increase. In this way it is no coincidence that plastic converters do not anticipate a major price increase. They rather think there will be a minor price correction by 15-30 € in February. In this way they are not prompted to buy in advance for February.
Propylene sale prices remained as they were last week. There was no significant up- or downwards movement. Demand is low. Supply is good. The increase of spot propylene prices did not boost the willingness to buy, similar to ethylene. Polymer producers and distributors expect a minor price increase in February.
The price of SM grades has hit bottom, but for the time being there is no sign of a significant price increase on the spot market. The volatility of recent years is floating above the market, yet spot SM prices have been stable for a month. For the time being there is no sign of major change. PS demand can be deemed to be good, for European grades in particular, but supply is not sufficient. It is a paradox situation that now the price of materials coming from outside of Europe is similar to or is slightly higher than the price of European producers. For the time being the market anticipates “roll-over” for February.
Typical LDPE prices were in a range of 970-1,050 €/t last week. The price of more special grades with additives was as high as 1,080 Euro. The demand is not too high, supply is good. Slovnaft Bralen grades are still short of supply. But the supply of these grades is also continuously improving.
In Central Europe the typical HDPE prices were in a range of 1,050-1,160 €/t last week. Cheapest prices were in Poland and in the Czech Republic. HDPE IM prices start from 1,050 Euro, but they were typically in a range of 1,070-1,120 €/t. HDPE Film and BM prices were in a range of 1,050-1,160 €/t. They are the cheapest in the SCE region. Demand is low.
The typical HDPE (100) prices in January are in a range of 1,250-1,320 €/t. Demand is low.
LLDPE C4 prices were in a range of 980 - 1,070 €/t last week. There was no major price difference between the individual regions. Demand is low.
MLLDPE prices are in a range of 1,150-1,340 €/t. Supply is broad, in the region the products of all major producers are available.
PPH prices were in a range of 1,100-1,240 €/t last week. The demand came to be somewhat weaker compared to the second week of January. Prices are still balanced. PPH Raffia prices were in a range of 1,100-1,190 €/t. The price range of non-special PPM IM products with medium melt index was 1,120-1,210 €/t. The prices of products with high melt index were in a range of 1,180-1,250 €/t last week. There is just a low quantity of imported goods from outside of Europe in the region.
Typical prices of PPC grades were in a range of 1,220-1,300 €/t in Central-Europe last week. The price band has slightly dropped. “Near to prime” materials are available again, but they are less popular because of the diminishing price difference. Extrusion (pipe) grades are cheapest, their seasons has not come yet.
The PPR price range was 1,240-1,360 €/t, depending on the grade, producer and application area last week. The demand for pipe grades is low.
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 third week of January, 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
The polystyrene market is Janus-faced:
Last week in Central Europe EPS prices were in a range of 1,230-1,320 €/t. A slight price reduction following monomers was typical. The price change was a bit delayed. Probably because purchases have started last week.
GPPS prices were typically in a range of 1,160-1,230 €/t last week. Polymer grades produced in Europe will slowly be sold out. Synthos still have available stocks, but the other producers take no more orders for January. There is an abundance of goods from the Near-East and Egypt on the market, but these offer no price advantage, what is more, they are on the average even more expensive than European products. HIPS prices are in a range of 1,210-1,280 €/t. Supply is limited also here, but demand is good. Yet price sensitivity is extreme.
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