20 December 2012 21:56 [Source: ICIS news]
US PP contract prices for December were at 69.00-71.00 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for homopolymer injection and raffia grade material, as assessed by ICIS.
Much of the PP market has a monomer-based contract that follows the monthly polymer grade propylene (PGP) cost. PGP prices settled higher at 58.00 cents/lb for December.
The increase was more than some expected, particularly after an initial nomination by one propylene producer for a flat settlement for December. However, propylene began to gain strength later in the month as spot prices rose following the unexpected shutdown of several US crackers.
Now, as spot propylene prices continue to rise, some market participants are predicting another increase in January.
"The 1 cent/lb went through, no doubt," said one trader. "Now, the best I'm hearing is 2-4 cents/lb for January."
Major North American PP producers include LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Total, Formosa Plastics, Braskem Americas, Pinnacle Polymers, Phillips 66 and Flint Hills Resources.
($1 = €0.75)
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