LyondellBasell to increase Europe Nov PE prices by €50/tonne

28 October 2010 16:25  [Source: ICIS news]

DUSSELDORF (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) major LyondellBasell intends to increase prices by €50/tonne ($68/tonne) in November, a company source said on Thursday.

“We aim to lift prices by €50/tonne across the board,” said the source, adding that hikes on medium density PE (MDPE) could be higher, given tight availability in the market.

This news came after Wednesday’s settlement of the November ethylene contract at €978/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), an increase of €28/tonne over the October contract.

Low density PE (LDPE) was the tightest PE grade in Europe, and buying sources admitted that prices could increase in this sector, but they were sceptical of increases in the high density PE (HDPE) market.

Total Petrochemicals’ PE outages in France due to strikes had tightened availability of all grades, however, and producers were confident of maintaining a firm market throughout 2010.

Demand was better than in 2009 for most grades, but sources pointed out that 2009 had been a poor year.

“We will get back to 2007 levels, but it will probably take two to three years,” said another PE producer.

October LDPE had settled largely at a rollover, with net levels reported at €1,240-1,270/tonne FD NWE, while linear low density PE (LLDPE) and HDPE price levels had dropped by several euros.

“We will face competition from product from new plants in 2011, but for the time being, markets are firm,” said one of the producers.

PE producers in Europe include Borealis, SABIC, Polimeri Europa, INEOS and Dow.

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By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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