INEOS Europe declares FM on LDPE from Cologne - buyers

09 March 2012 11:14  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS has declared force majeure on low density polyethylene (LDPE) deliveries from its Cologne site in Germany because of a cracker outage, several buyers said on Friday.

There has been no immediate confirmation from INEOS, but buyers had already reported similar legal restrictions on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) several weeks ago.

INEOS has the capacity produce 360,000 tonnes/year of LDPE at Cologne and 230,000 tonnes/year of LLDPE.

LDPE prices have been rising steadily over the past months and the recent settlement of the March ethylene contract at an increase of €86/tonne ($115/tonne), has pushed them up further.

LDPE spot prices are now trading in a wide range, around €1,400/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), which is about 30% more than at the end of 2011, and market talk of a higher ethylene price for April are sending some buyers back to the market for more product.

“Any increase in ethylene will depend on what naphtha does for the rest of March, but we are expecting another upward move in April,” said a major producer.

A large polyethylene (PE) buyer said: “If prices go up again in April, it will just mean more imports, so I don’t expect much of a hike next month, just stability,”

LDPE is used widely in film applications, for packaging and agricultural uses.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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