New year brings slight uplift in US PE exports

07 January 2009 22:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Business in the US polyethylene (PE) export market remains slow this month but has shown a little improvement from the end of 2008, a trader said on Wednesday.

“There are some positive signs, but it’s going to be a long, slow climb out of this mess,” the source said.

Recent price increases in Asia were opening that market for more US exports, which was an encouraging sign for sellers.

The LyondellBasell bankruptcy filing so far has not changed the day-to-day operations at the major PE and polypropylene (PP) producer, the trader said.

“It might if they start breaking up the company,” he added.

US Gulf low density PE (LDPE) export prices were at 34-36 cents/lb ($750-794/tonne, €555-588/tonne) FOB (free on board) in bags, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

US PE producers announced a 7 cent/lb increase for January, but buyers and traders did not expect the full increase to be accepted.

However, the price hike announcements could signal an end to the sharp discounts seen in the spot market in recent months, sources said.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on polyethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: David Barry
+1 713 525 2653



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