INEOS declares force majeure on Grangemouth PP

18 March 2010 09:55  [Source: ICIS news]

(Recasts, clarifying propylene situation in paragraph 5)

LONDON (ICIS news)--Major plastics producer INEOS has declared force majeure on polypropylene (PP) from its 285,000 tonne/year plant at Grangemouth in the UK, which failed due to a technical issue over the weekend of 13-14 March, a company source said on Wednesday.

“We think the plant will be down for a week,” said the source. “It’s not a serious problem but we were already short of product at the site. We hope to be back up by the weekend.”

The source went on to say that the company would be targeting higher prices yet again in April, irrespective of the new monthly propylene settlement, which was widely expected to increase.

“PP demand is good and supply is terrible. Prices will have to go up. Our margins are bad. We can’t afford to buy spot propylene and make PP,” said the source.

Market sources agreed that profitability in other areas such as nitriles, phenol and propylene oxide was better than in PP, and competitive products were taking any extra available quantities of spot monomer.

PP prices had already increased by around €200/tonne ($274/tonne) in 2010, and PP buyers were complaining that they were unable to pass on this year’s hefty hikes.

PP homopolymer injection net prices were reported around €1,100/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in March.

Spot propylene was in the mid-€900s/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE, and opening offers for the April contract were higher than the current March contract of €910/tonne FD NWE.

PP producers in Europe include LyondellBasell, Borealis, SABIC, Total Petrochemicals, Dow Chemical, Repsol, INEOS Olefins and Polymers, Polychim and Domo.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on INEOS visit ICIS company intelligence
For more on PP visit
ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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