PE, PP prices falling fast in Latin America’s Pacific coast

21 October 2011 20:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polymer prices are declining on the Pacific coast of Latin America, following a drop in feedstocks, sources said on Friday.

Imported low density polyethylene (LDPE) from the US Gulf or from Mexico is heard offered at $1,500/tonne (€1,095/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) Chile main port, and buyers are still hesitant to jump on those offers. Offers from Brazil were coming at $1,550/tonne CFR.

LDPE material from South Korea was slightly cheaper at $1,4801,500/tonne CFR, but no transactions were heard at that level. As a comparison, domestic LDPE prices in Chile are currently at $1,700/tonne DEL (delivered) and higher, depending on volume.

Linear low density PE (LLDPE) was offered in the range of $1,3601,400/tonne CFR Chile main port, with similar levels heard for high density PE (HDPE) blow moulding.

These same offers are being heard in Peru and Ecuador, a trader said.

Polypropylene (PP) deals are already being closed at $1,650/tonne CFR with a strong likelihood that PP prices will be at $1,620/tonne CFR in November, a seller said.

Domestic PP prices for homopolymers are at $1,720/tonne DEL for large-volume clients and higher for small-volume sales, according to ICIS.

Numbers in the order of $1,500/tonne are already being talked for December delivery. In addition, unconfirmed reports described the existence of European PP cash offers for December at $1,300/tonne CFR.

The latter could be no more than a buyer’s wish list, but the message is clear. Prices are declining and will likely continue to drop until the end of the year.

The decline of polyolefin prices in the Pacific coast contrast sharply with the situation in Brazil, where local producers are still trying to increase October PE, PP and polystyrene (PS) prices to offset the weakening of the local currency against the US dollar.

Steep import tariffs in Brazil may not be enough in the short term to contain less expensive shipments from Asia.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on polyolefins visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: George Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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