19 April 2012 16:32 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Borealis’s 350,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Stenungsund in Sweden is still experiencing technical problems, and is again out of action, a company source said on Thursday.
“It restarted last weekend but is down again now,” the source at the Austrian plastics major said.
The plant has been having technical problems for several weeks, adding to the tightness of the LDPE sector.
LDPE prices have risen by around €40/tonne ($53/tonne) in April, following increases of more than 30% in 2012 so far.
The market has started to falter, however, and low spot prices are on offer from traders who want to get rid of their stock in expectation of a weaker May.
Demand for polyethylene (PE) in general has been poor in April, as buyers destock and the economic situation in Europe influences volumes on a more fundamental level.
LDPE net prices fell to €1,030/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in December 2011, and rose as high as €1,450/tonne FD NWE in March.
New spot offers have been heard around €1,350/tonne FD NWE, but monthly business between producers and their regular customers remains firm. Many expect this to change in May, however, as crude prices are falling and demand remains poor.
Production problems in Sweden and Germany have kept LDPE relatively tight in Europe.
LDPE is used in the manufacture of film products.
($1 = €0.76)
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