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Will European PE producers seek hikes beyond ethylene again in March?

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 17/02/2017 (14:55)
In Europe, PE players started to voice their early March expectations, which are indicating another round of increases in line with the hike expected on ethylene contracts. Some players believe that European PE producers will approach the market with increases beyond ethylene, as it was the case in January and February. Even if ethylene contracts are yet to be settled, they point out to tight supplies and strong demand for their bullish expectations.

A buyer in Italy noted, “As for March, we expect €30-50/ton increases on ethylene contracts whereas PE producers might look for €20-30/ton larger increases than that of ethylene contracts. Supply is reducing and sellers are not feeling sales pressure.”

A trader from the Netherlands said that his suppliers have already started to apply further hikes on their new list prices in the midst of tightening supplies. “Our suppliers are revising their offers up for the month. We expect ethylene contracts to increase by around €30/ton in March.”

Many players in the region reported that PE demand was rather good this month due to an expected limitation in supply in the following weeks on the back of upcoming cracker maintenance season between March and May.

Plus, some PE grades are tighter in Europe as strong Asian markets continue to attract Middle Eastern material. Therefore, LLDPE, which is more dependent on imports, posted the most remarkable increases among other PE products.

An Italian converter reported that a West European producer had initially announced hikes of €100-120/ton on LLDPE on tight supply. He added, “LLDPE supply is tight particualrly from Saudi Arabia as Middle Eastern producers prefer to export to Asia. Our end product demand is good for stretch film products.”

Spot PE prices are at €1320-1400/ton for LDPE, at €1220-1300/ton for LLDPE and at €1240-1320/ton for HDPE film and blow moulding, FD Italy, 60 days. Meanwhile, in Northwest Europe, PE prices stand at €1320-1400/ton for LDPE, at €1220-1300/ton for LLDPE, at €1260-1350/ton on HDPE film and blow moulding and at €1240-1350/ton on HDPE inj., FD, 60 days.
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