18 April 2013 16:52 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--North American polyethylene (PE) producer NOVA Chemicals announced it will postpone a proposed 4 cent/lb ($88/tonne, €68/tonne) price increase from 1 April to 1 May, sources said on Thursday.
The move would keep April prices flat at March levels.
Buyers, who were alerted to the decision this week, said there was no specific reason given for the shift. But with recent drops in spot ethylene costs, and soft domestic demand, sources said there was very little to support a price increase.
"There is really no cost pressure," said one buyer. "It [any increase] would have to be demand driven, and my perception is that demand is not all that strong."
So far, no other producers were heard to have followed NOVA in pushing off the April increase, but buyers said they expect others to follow in the next week or so.
There was some talk that very large buyers had already been able to negotiate a decrease for April. However, that information could not be confirmed.
Buyers said they believed a flat settlement for the month is more likely than a decrease, with any price erosion happening in May or June.
Current prices for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) butene were at 74-76 cents/lb DEL (delivered); low density polyethylene (LDPE) film prices were at 83-85 cents/lb DEL; and high density polyethylene (HDPE) blow moulding prices were at 72-74 cents/lb DEL, for small volume buyers, as assessed by ICIS.
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