27 January 2009 12:32 [Source: ICIS news]
By Linda Naylor
LONDON (ICIS news)--Polyethylene (PE) buyers in ?xml:namespace>
Several PE producers revealed new targets for February business on Friday 23 January. Proposed hikes were at €80-100/tonne ($105-132/tonne) on all polyethylenes.
“I can see that prices may have to go up if ethylene increases, but I don’t expect more than €20/tonne,” said one large PE buyer on Tuesday.
Ethylene was not yet settled for February, but discussions centred on increases of €60-80/tonne, on the January level of €520/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). There would be no quarterly contract in the first quarter of 2009 after the record fall of €600/tonne in the fourth-quarter ethylene contract of 2008.
“This push is based on increased costs and not supply and demand,” said one dissatisfied buyer. “It is not our problem if they can’t settle on an ethylene price.
“They are all claiming poor margins but that is nothing to do with us.”
PE producers reported poor margins mainly due to the sharp spike in naphtha that has left prices close to 50% above December, when the January ethylene contract was settled.
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) prices were settling slightly up in January, but only at accounts that had been considered very low. Most gross business was now reported at €720/tonne FD NWE minimum, with spot levels in the mid-€600s/tonne FD NWE and above.
High density polyethylene (HDPE) prices had been more difficult for suppliers to lift as the supply/demand balance was less fine, but producers would be looking for increases across the board in February.
Some PE grades had tightened after strong December and January demand. Crackers were being ramped up to accommodate improved demand in
On the whole, the PE market in
PE producers in
($1 = €0.76)
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