Dow Europe reports record LDPE sales in Dec

05 December 2008 16:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Dow Europe has reported record low density polyethylene (LDPE) sales for December this week, selling out of LDPE and high density PE (HDPE) for the month, company sources reported on Friday.

“On Tuesday and Wednesday this week we sold twice as much LDPE as we had ever sold,” said one of the sources.

“People must have done the calculation and seen that prices can’t go down much further,” he added.

“Even if Q1 ethylene were to fall as low as €400/tonne ($571/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), which is unlikely, prices couldn’t go any lower.”

Spot LDPE had fallen below €600/tonne in some cases by the end of November, from their end-September level of €1,250/tonne FD NWE and some sellers were still offering at this in December.

Higher prices were now creeping back into the market, however, with some traders buying at €650/tonne FD NWE.

HDPE was also sold out at Dow, with sources admitting that current high sales were done at knock-down levels.

Whatever the first quarter brought in terms of a new ethylene price, sellers were more optimistic than for some time.

“We have seen severe destocking for four months in a row. Perhaps we are now at the bottom,” said one producer source.

PE producers had been surprised at the speed and severity of the price fall in the fourth quarter.

By the end of November, all PE commodity grades were trading well below the fourth-quarter ethylene contract level of €1,120/tonne FD NWE.

PE producers in Europe include Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Borealis, Total Petrochemicals, INEOS Polyolefins, Dow, Polimeri Europa and Repsol.

($1 = €0.78)

Click here to find out more on the European polyethylene margin report
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By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214



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