PE film under pressure ahead of Delhi’s ‘green’ Games

01 June 2010 05:32  [Source: ICIS news]

By Prema Viswanathan

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Polyethylene (PE) film demand is under pressure in northern India due to Delhi’s drive to discourage use of plastic bags ahead of the Commonwealth Games to be held in the capital in October, industry sources said on Tuesday.

“Although there is no official ban on the use of plastic bags, the government is aggressively promoting ‘green’ alternatives such as jute to project an ecologically friendly image during the Commonwealth Games, being dubbed the ‘Green Games’,” said a Delhi-based polymer trader.

On the occasion of World Forestry Day on 21 March, events were held in Delhi where jute bags were distributed to participants to encourage the use of eco-friendly materials over plastic bags.

Consumption of high density PE (HDPE) and linear low density (LLDPE) film has also been hit by the boost given to plastics recycling ahead of the Games, said a second trader.

In an attempt to make the city greener and cleaner for the Games the government has begun to privatise the plastic waste collection systems in the capital, according to Indian media reports.

The downbeat sentiment for PE film, coupled with falling ethylene feedstock costs, caused prices to plunge $100-110/tonne for HDPE film to $1,200-1,240/tonne CFR (cost and freight) India last Friday from a month earlier, according to ICIS pricing data.

LLDPE film declined by $80/tonne to $1,330-1,370/tonne CFR India.

HDPE film has been under more pressure than LLDPE film in recent months due to softening demand and abundant supply, prompting Indian producers to reduce domestic prices of this grade by rupees (Rs) 3/kg last week.

Domestic prices of LLDPE were kept unchanged due to tight supply.

However, PE consumption could receive a boost from the Himachal Pradesh government’s recently launched pilot road project, which seeks to use PE bags instead of asphalt as glue.

The project received much attention during the Earth Day events held in northern India on 22 April.

HDPE film is more dense than LLDPE and is used mainly to make shopping bags and for food, drink and cosmetic packaging. LLDPE film, on the other hand, is used as a liner in shrink wrap, and for drip irrigation. PP is used in packaging and automotive applications.

The nineteenth Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in Delhi between 3 October and 14 October 2010. The games will be the largest multi-sport conducted to date in Delhi and India generally, which has previously hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982.

($1 = €0.81)

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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