SABIC plans €30/tonne hike for March LDPE/LLDPE

21 February 2008 17:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) will aim to increase its low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density PE (LLDPE) prices by €30/tonne ($44/tonne) in March, a company source said on Thursday.

“We have seen a sharp upturn in demand over the past couple of days. Buyers surely can no longer be expecting lower prices next month with oil and naphtha as high as they are,” he said.

Brent crude oil was trading at $97.75/bbl on Thursday, down from its high earlier this week, but still very firm, and naphtha was assessed at $860-880/tonne CIF (cost insurance freight) NWE (northwest Europe).

LDPE and LLDPE prices rose €60-70/tonne in January and February combined, leaving LDPE gross prices in the mid-€1,300s/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

PE producers had pushed for higher prices to recover the €78/tonne increase in first quarter ethylene monomer, and they intended to see it fully achieved by the end of March.

Buyers were not convinced that they would be paying higher prices next month, however.

“Demand is not that great, although with oil and naphtha as they are, I suppose we can’t really expect prices to go down that much,” said one buyer.

March business would not be discussed for some while yet, as some February settlements were not yet concluded.

PE producers in Europe include INEOS Polyolefins, Total Petrochemicals, Dow, Borealis, LyondellBasell and Repsol.

($1 = €0.68)

For more on LDPE and LLDPE visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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