US PE prices drop 4, 6 cents/lb in June

02 July 2010 00:12  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US polyethylene (PE) producers lowered resin prices by 4 and 6 cents/lb ($88/tonne, $132/tonne, €72/tonne, €108/tonne) in June, depending on the grade, buyers said on Thursday.

For June, sources said high density PE (HDPE) and linear low density PE (LLDPE) dropped by 6 cents/lb, while low density PE (LDPE) dropped by 4 cents/lb.

Some converters said PE prices could drop 2-4 cents/lb further in July based on downward pressure from weak export volumes and lower feedstock costs.

However, buyers said that producers continued to carefully manage production to avoid inventory overruns, and a PE seller said domestic customers were placing high order volumes for July.

Customers were building inventory with the view that prices would bottom out and the hurricane season would present significant upside risk for feedstock and resin costs, the seller said.

A major PE supplier was said to have already announced a 1 August price hike, but this was not confirmed.

“Being hurricane season, I would think [producers] all want to have an increase letter sitting out there so they can activate it if they want to,” a buyer said.

US domestic HDPE blow moulding prices were in the high 50s and low 60s cents/lb DEL (delivered) for small-volume customers, sources said.

Major US PE producers include Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Formosa, INEOS, Total, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Westlake and LyondellBasell.

($1 = €0.82)

ICIS has launched weekly pricing reports in Africa for polyethylene and polypropylene. For more information contact Nadine Spoeri
For more on polyethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

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By: David Barry
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