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European PE soars amid tightness, LD absorbs larger hikes

by Manolya Tufan -
  • 11/01/2021 (17:51)
January PE offers emerged with three-digit increases, surpassing the ethylene hike. The upward momentum gained speed as 2021 started due to a number of factors including strong demand for packaging applications, shortness of PE as well as supportive upstream costs.

Being tighter than other grades, LDPE offers saw hikes of up to €200/ton. This suggests a huge margin expansion when compared to the ethylene hike of €65/ton. Meanwhile, LLDPE and HDPE prices also saw large increases as supplies for these grades also shrank amid a lack of US imports.

Although some buyers continue to make inquiries in hope of finding more competitive levels, initial deals started being closed with increases of €130-150/ton for HDPE and larger hikes of €150-160/ton for LDPE.

These hikes pushed LDPE prices in Italy to their highest levels since October 2017, according to the weekly average prices on ChemOrbis Price Index.

These ranges may be prone to changes later in the week when more transactions take place.

Converters are expected to close January deals at higher levels and buy some extra cargoes ahead of firmer expectations for February. The lack of imports and production hiccups keep supplies restricted, which is likely to pave the way for another round of increases particularly if demand remains supportive.

A packager said, “We received initial offers with hefty hikes. We currently use our existing stocks but we will have to buy at some point this month.”
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