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European PE market enters holidays on stable to softer trend

  • 12/08/2016 (03:27)
PE players in Europe wrapped up their August deals with rollovers to discounts of up to €40/ton before many participants left the market for summer holidays. Early expectations are diverging regarding September, in the meantime.

Overall activity is considered to be slower in the recent days across the region given the starting holiday mood. The majority of buyers preferred to meet just their immediate needs while some converters reported purchasing some quantity for early September as well.

A distributor in Germany offered various PE grades with rollovers for August. “We are mulling over issuing €20/ton discounts during this month in an attempt to close more sales as demand is not brisk.”
A converter in Italy reported, “We purchased some extra volumes to cover our early September needs. We paid rollovers for LLDPE c4 and €40/ton drops for LDPE this month.” Another converter, meanwhile, said: “We received August LLDPE and LDPE offers with decreases of €20/ton from July. We preferred to order materials in accordance with our needs only.” A buyer in Switzerland, who purchased some extra volumes for September, plans to make some additional deals by late August if he finds competitive prices.

Players project no significant price changes for the rest of August while early expectations for September are also voiced already. Some players expect to see an upturn next month assuming that demand will pick up once manufacturers will return from holidays to meet their requirements.

However, according to others, the upstream chain may not be supportive considering softer spot ethylene and mostly steady naphtha costs in Europe. Spot ethylene prices were down by around €20/ton on FD NWE basis since August started.

A packager in Italy argued, “We have not purchased material in August as our stocks are comfortable. We do not think PE prices will increase in September as demand is not doing that good.”
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