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European PE players see small hike attempts likely for September

  • 02/09/2016 (03:36)
Market players in Europe are still returning from summer holidays while expectations for the September PE trend are voiced for a stable to slightly firmer direction. PE producers in the region are yet to unveil their official offers with players expecting to hear them in a few days with small price hikes depending on product.

PE buyers in Europe did not rush to purchase raw material this week as the market continues to feel the long holiday lull and they don’t expect to see considerable price changes. September ethylene contracts were rolled over from the previous month at the end of last week.

Expectations hint at possible hike requests from West European PE producers as distributors think that their suppliers will ask for small increases, particularly for LDPE for which supply is considered to be short for certain grades. Buyers, meanwhile, expect to pay only rollovers citing flat ethylene contracts.

In Italy, a distributor offered West European LDPE film with €20/ton increases. “We have not started to offer HDPE and LLDPE for September yet, but we are planning to seek moderate hikes as demand is doing okay,” he noted. Another local seller said, “We have not received a clear indication yet but producers will try to slightly increase LDPE prices while HDPE and LLDPE are likely to remain steady.

A South European producer, meanwhile, already revealed rollovers for the month to Italy after closing its August deals also with stable prices month over month.

“We expect our supplier to offer rollovers on their PE prices in September given the steady ethylene contracts. Demand is still quiet for the moment and we received only a few orders from customers,” a seller in Germany mentioned.

After selling out his August materials mainly with rollovers, another distributor in the country thinks that LDPE may see some price gains amidst tightness but HDPE prices would not see any upwards movement. Demand is quiet for the time being, he added. “Demand is generally very slow and we have not started to offer September volumes yet,” a seller in France similarly stated.

A packager in Italy already purchased a moderate amount of PE for September after paying a small increase of €20/ton. “Our end business has been discouraging during June, July and August but we observe an improvement these days,” he reported. Another converter was not in a hurry to buy material thanks to his sufficient stocks on hand for now. Another buyer opined, “We believe our regular supplier is under sales pressure so we may obtain small discounts later in September.”
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