US PE prices to be flat or lower for July - buyers

15 July 2010 22:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US polyethylene (PE) contract prices are likely to either roll over or drop slightly in July amid ample availability, buyers said on Thursday.

“It’s too early to tell for sure, but early indicators in spot buys at good pricing domestically would suggest there’s a lot of inventory available,” a source said.

Also, resin prices had room to fall, given the current cost of feedstocks, another buyer said.

“I suspect we’ll see an additional drop of 2-4 cents/lb ($44-88/tonne, €35-70/tonne) because of both feedstocks... and availability,” the second buyer said.

Other sources were non-committal, saying that producers had so far indicated they would hold prices steady in July.

There were no price hike initiatives active for July, and only one supplier was heard to have announced a price hike for August.

The proposed August increase would only apply to specific grades of PE, however, including low-density PE (LDPE) and grades of linear low-density (LLDPE) that incorporate hexene or octene.

The LLDPE price hikes were attributed to rising usage and costs for hexene and octene co-monomers, a source said.

US domestic prices for LLDPE butene film were 62-65 cents/lb DEL (delivered) in bulk, as assessed by ICIS.

Spot export prices were generally 1-2 cents/lb lower compared with four weeks ago, with bagged LLDPE butene resin assessed at 48-50 cents/lb FOB (free on board) US Gulf.

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

($1 = €0.79)

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By: David Barry
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