Total declares force majeure on HDPE from Gonfreville, France

01 March 2012 18:57  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Total declared force majeure on high density polyethylene (HDPE) from its Gonfreville plant in France on Thursday, the company said in a letter to its customers.

The company declined to comment on the situation, but the Gonfreville HDPE plant is said to produce mainly blow-moulding and film grades and has a capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year.

The letter explains that the HDPE unit at Gonfreville underwent an emergency stop, and despite several attempts to resolve the problem, the unit could not be restarted.

“We will face difficult times in the coming days and we could even find ourselves in a position where supply is impossible,” said the statement.

HDPE producers are targeting increases of €130-150/tonne ($173-200/tonne) for March, following the €86/tonne increase in the March monthly ethylene contract price, which settled at €1,305/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

HDPE prices have risen by over 20% already in 2012. As March monthly pricing has not yet been settled, prices are difficult to gauge, but net spot prices this week are reported around €1,350/tonne FD NWE.

PE pricing have risen largely because of reduced output, high feedstock costs and poor producer margins.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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