26 August 2010 11:34 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Total Petrochemicals and INEOS’s 300,000 tonne/year joint venture polypropylene (PP) plant at Lavera, France, is expected to come back online next week, after failing during the second half of July, a company source said on Thursday.
The company had called force majeure on supplies from the plant.
The PP market was balanced, according to buyers, while some suppliers continued to report a tight stock position.
“We have never had to stop any of our machines, even during the period when it was supposed to be super tight,” said one buyer. “I even suspect PP might be getting long now.”
PP prices had eased back in line with the €38/tonne ($48/tonne) drop in the monthly monomer contract price in August.
Homopolymer injection from European selling sources was reported to be trading around €1,220-1,250/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on a net basis.
The market was now waiting for the new September propylene contract to settle before committing to September business.
European PP buyers had been consistently frustrated by attempts to buy significant volumes of imported material, which they had expected to arrive from new Middle Eastern plants by mid-2010. Buyers had been forced to accept increases throughout the year and still did not envisage large quantities of imported material before the end of 2010.
New plants had been delayed, and producers preferred to send material eastwards rather than to Europe wherever possible.
“I can’t see this [strong market conditions] coming to an end before well into October,” said a major producer.
PP producers in Europe include LyondellBasell, Borealis, SABIC, Total Petrochemicals, Dow Chemical, Repsol, INEOS Olefins and Polymers, Polychim and Domo.
($1 = €0.79)
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