02 May 2013 20:26 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US April contract negotiations for polyethylene (PE) ended with a flat settlement after producers postponed a proposed 4 cent/lb ($88/tonne, €67/tonne) price increase until May, sources said on Thursday.
While a few producers had agreed earlier in the month to postpone the increase, others waited until this week to meet the competitive offer, sources said.
Some buyers had been pushing for a price reduction for the month. However, with a few ethylene crackers still down, producers were able maintain price levels, sources said.
Buyers said they expect that to change in May, with many buyers saying they expect prices to start dropping this month and continue to drop further in June.
"It is going to go down, but the question is how much," said one buyer, who said it planned to argue for a minimum reduction of 4 cents/lb.
The buyer pointed to weak domestic demand and already low prices in the broker market as signs that prices will move lower.
Following the April settlement, prices for LLDPE butene film were at 74-76 cents/lb DEL (delivered), LDPE film prices were at 83-85 cents/lb DEL and HDPE blow moulding prices were at 72-74 cents/lb DEL, for small volume buyers, as assessed by ICIS.
Major US PE producers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, LyondellBasell, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Westlake, INEOS, Total, Nova Chemicals and Formosa Plastics.
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