LyondellBasell cuts Carrington LDPE for two months

29 January 2009 15:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--LyondellBasell will halt low density polyethylene (LDPE) production at its 180,000 tonne/year Carrington, UK, site for two months, a company source said on Thursday.

“The only way to have an impact on the market is to cut capacity,” said the source.

PE producers were surprised by the size of the February monomer increase and intended to cover their costs. The new monthly monomer price was settled at €590/tonne ($776/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) earlier this week, marking an increase of €70/tonne over January.

“We lost €300/tonne in December, it shouldn’t be too much to ask to recover €100/tonne in January,” added the source.

Other producers also made it clear that they would target increases of up to €100/tonne, in a move to recover the increased costs upstream.

“We are not covering our fixed costs. We need to get prices up,” said another producer.

LDPE demand recovered substantially in December after two very weak months, when volumes showed a record drop. January demand was also good, and, while an element of pre-buying and restocking clearly contributed to this, producers said they needed to take advantage of the current strong demand.

New PE capacity was expected to affect global prices during the second half of 2009 at the latest.

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

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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