30 August 2012 16:53 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Total Petrochemicals has declared force majeure on several bimodal high density polyethylene (HDPE) grades from its plant in Antwerp, Belgium, the company said in a letter seen by ICIS on Thursday.
Total declines to comment on the status of operations, but the grades affected are thought to be mainly HDPE blowmoulding and pipe grades.
This is the second case of force majeure in Europe at present, following Basell Orlen Polyolefins' restrictions on some HDPE grades around 22 August.
The nature of the production problems that led to Total’s declaration and the duration of restrictions are unknown.
“The situation could not be anticipated and is beyond our control,” said the statement.
HDPE buyers have been forced to pay increases of up to €200/tonne ($250/tonne) in August and now look likely to face similar hikes in September, as producers target what they say is a much-needed margin improvement. Buyers say such hefty hikes will lead to a sharp decrease in demand.
HDPE spot prices have risen to around €1,400/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) from a low of €1,050/tonne FD NWE at the end of June.
($1 = €0.80)
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