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European PP prices decline on improved supply, lower costs

  • 15/01/2016 (08:11)
Players in Europe report lower PP prices this week now that supply has relatively improved, buying appetite is not vivid and feedstock costs were driven down given the slumping energy costs. Most PP sellers are offering decreases ranging between €20-40/ton following rollover requests from December while they are not willing to concede to the full drop on January propylene contracts.

In Italy, two West European PP producers are offering decreases between €30-40/ton. “After closing December with €30/ton hikes, we revealed €30/ton declines for January. Demand is quiet at the present,” a source from a producer said. Another producer commented, “The market is more balanced now. Meanwhile, we hope not to give the full propylene drop during this month.”

A South European producer reported having improved supply this month. “We initially announced rollovers for January, before trimming our prices down by €30/ton. Nonetheless, we had allocated most of our January volumes at the end of December,” a source from the supplier noted.

A distributor in Belgium initially unveiled PP rollovers for this month. “We are offering January PP volumes lower albeit with smaller decreased than the propylene settlements. We received good orders so far. Our availability is normal. We project that demand will slow down in the coming weeks,” reported the seller.

Buyers’ reports about receiving import offers confirm relatively improved PP availability in the region. “We paid €20/ton drops to a West European supplier, while we are negotiating with another source to obtain €40/ton decreases from last month. We were also offered import PP block copolymer from South Korea this week,” a converter mentioned. A trader in Italy even claimed to have received a €50/ton reduction from his PP supplier who had initially announced a rollover for the month thanks to the producer’s increased supply.

Players voice their expectations for further price cuts in February citing low crude oil and naphtha costs in Europe in addition to eased tightness. ICE Brent crude futures almost sank to $30/barrel this week and even touched very slightly below this threshold which pushed spot naphtha costs down to almost $300/ton CIF NWE recently.

PP prices in Europe had followed a firm trend in the last month of 2015 as sellers had applied price hikes prior to Christmas holidays supported by generally tight PP supplies across the region. January propylene contracts settled down €50/ton month over month.
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