Asian, Middle East PE producers target March PE price hikes

20 February 2013 11:13  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian and Middle Eastern polyethylene (PE) producers are targeting higher prices for March shipments to China because of relatively tight Middle Eastern export supply, and high ethylene feedstock prices in Asia, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Middle Eastern PE export to Asia was expected to be relatively tight in March because a number of PE plants in that region had recently resumed production following planned and unplanned shutdowns, Chinese traders said.

On Friday evening, Asia’s spot ethylene prices were at $1,420-1,430/tonne (€1,065-1,073/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia, according to ICIS.

“Middle East producers indicated their selling ideas at above $1,500/tonne for LLDPE (linear low density PE) shipments,” said a trader in east China. He was referring to producer offers on a CFR (cost and freight) basis.

“Two Middle East producers indicated their selling ideas for LLDPE at $1,520/tonne CFR China for March shipment, but we are not sure if end-users are ready to accept this price,” the east China-based trader added.

Chinese traders were selling Middle Eastern LLDPE at $1,470-1,480/tonne CFR China this week for end February arrival, a Chinese trader said.

A global producer indicated its selling ideas for C6 metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE) at $1,700/tonne CFR China this week for March shipment. This is $70/tonne higher from its offers announced two weeks ago, a Chinese distributor said.

Another global producer also indicated that its minimum price offer for C8 mLLDPE would be at $1,700/tonne CFR China for March shipment, compared with its offers at $1,670-1,700/tonne CFR China two weeks ago, another Chinese distributor said.

Many Chinese traders said they were expecting China’s PE import prices for March shipments to be higher, but that any price increases would be moderated if downstream demand did not increase significantly.

Many plastics processors in China were still operating at low rates this week because many of their workers were still away for the Lunar New Year holiday, Chinese traders said.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Chow Bee Lin
+65 6780 4359



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