US PE producers announce 7 cent/lb March price hike

01 February 2012 21:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--At least two US polyethylene (PE) producers have announced a 7 cent/lb ($154/tonne,  €117/tonne) price increase for all grades of PE effective on 1 March, sources said on Wednesday.

Total announced that it will increase the price for all high density polyethylene (HDPE) and medium density polyethylene (MDPE) by 7 cents/lb, according to a 1 February letter obtained by ICIS.

Chevron Phillips Chemical announced it would increase the price of all PE products by 7 cents/lb effective on 1 March, according to a 31 January customer letter obtained by ICIS.

That proposed increases are in addition to any previously announced price increases, according to the letters.

With PE contracts settling flat in January, producers have pushed the 6 cent/lb price hike they had sought in January to February, sources said.

Other producers were believed to have announced a similar 7 cent/lb increase for 1 March.

Producers were bullish on the proposed February and March increases, saying upcoming cracker turnarounds would cause some supply tightness in the market.

"I don't think there is any question it is going to happen," one producer said of the February increase.

Buyers weren't so sure, saying it is hard to tell where the market will end up until the end of the month.

"They are certainly positioning themselves for some sort of an increase with these announcements for March," one buyer said.

With the flat settlement for January, prices for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) butene film were at 71-74 cents/lb DEL (delivered) ), low density polyethylene (LDPE) film prices were at 80-82 cents/lb DEL and high density polyethylene (HDPE) blow moulding prices were at 69-71 cents/lb DEL, for small volume buyers, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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