SABIC begins offering PE to US processors

10 September 2007 18:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US polyethylene (PE) buyers have begun negotiations to buy product from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), industry sources said on Monday.

US PE buyers indicated that they were in the process of sampling and testing SABIC material.

US market sources have indicated concern over the impact that imports from the Middle East - expected to start arriving in potentially large volumes by mid-2008 or 2009 - will have on the North American and global markets.

Current discussions only involved butene grade of linear low-density PE (LLDPE). Other grades will be offered later, according to US sources.

A buyer said it expected to place orders from SABIC for a few containers as soon as it approves specifications by end-September or early October. The material will be priced competitively at 1 or 2 cents/lb under current US contracts, said the source.

US buyers said it was not clear if initial imports will be sourced from the Middle East or from Europe.

SABIC declined to comment.

US PE producers include Dow Chemical, Equistar, Chevron Phillips, ExxonMobil, and Formosa.

US benchmark domestic bulk prices for linear low-density PE (LLDPE), injection grade, stood at 64-67 cents/lb, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

($1.00 = €0.73)

By: Ron Coifman
+1 713 525 2653

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