Colombia’s Ecopetrol keeps lowering PE prices

25 November 2008 21:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Colombia’s Ecopetrol reduced prices for low density polyethylene (LDPE) again this week from 7.4% to 9.7%, depending on grade, the company said on Tuesday.

Bagged material at the plant’s warehouse was reduced by 7.4% to Colombian pesos (Ps) 3,212/kg, equivalent to $1,386/tonne (€1,081/tonne) while bulk material was discounted by 9.7% to Ps2,982/kg, equivalent to $1,287/tonne (€1,004/tonne).

The reduction was intended to match falling prices in the US Gulf in order to keep the Colombian production of LDPE competitive.

With the latest price decline, Ecopetrol has lowered LDPE prices by nearly 35% in November, following international market trends.

Production is still shut down in Colombia, with both polyethylene (PE) units down for maintenance. Under normal circumstances, Ecopetrol produces about 4,000-4,500 tonnes/month of LDPE. The idled PE units are expected to restart in the second week of December, Ecopetrol said.

Ecopetrol built up inventories ahead of the turnarounds to cover contractual requirements. Part of the emergency stock was reinforced with imports from Mexico. Demand has improved in November, but December sales are expected to suffer due to the year-end holidays.

($1 =  €0.78)

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By: George Martin
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