October PE pipe prices largely steady on balanced market

14 October 2010 19:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European polyethylene (PE) pipe resin October contract prices largely settled at a rollover, although some slight reduction was noted at the high end of business as price ideas narrowed, players confirmed on Thursday.

Black high density PE (HDPE) 100 prices slipped by €10/tonne ($14/tonne) at the top of the range, as higher offers were no longer workable in the market due to some aggressive competition for market share.

This left black HDPE 100 prices at €1,190-1,240/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on a gross basis, which is subject to discounts and rebates according to data from ICIS.

The weaker US dollar exchange rate was the main factor driving prices down, according to market commentators, who said that this had now largely closed off export opportunities for European sellers, pushing material earmarked for export back into the already lengthening market.

“There is not a lot of opportunity to export and producers are jostling for market share as there are more fish in the pond,” said one major manufacturer.

As such, several were more flexible in their pricing ideas, although much depended on the region, starting point of negotiations and buyer size and location, a number of sources said.

The majority of buyers agreed with such prices, noting that availability was ample despite a number of ongoing maintenances in the market.

A large pipe converter noted; “the market does not feel the loss of these volumes. Pipe demand is slowing down and the market is balanced.”

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Stephanie Wilson
+44 20 8652 3214

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