Europe LLDPE imports down in March: Eurostat

19 June 2013 12:43  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) imports into Europe fell sharply in March, recent data from statistics agency Eurostat has shown.

March imports fell by almost 25% from February and down 4.3% from their January level.

The first-quarter total imports in 2013 were down by 16% compared with first-quarter 2012 numbers.

Europe is a net importer of LLDPE and one source estimated the imports to constitute around 80% of the European market.

LLDPE imports tonnes

Jan

Feb

Mar

2012

73,665

84,578

84,416

2013

62,988

80,067

60,264

Sources have noted a tightness in the C4 (butene-based) LLDPE market in Europe since demand showed an upturn in May, and this has continued into June.

European C4 LLDPE has been cut significantly in recent years as local producers have moved towards speciality products in the face of competition from low-cost producers, largely in the Middle East, which continues to supply most of the imported LLDPE in Europe.

INEOS converted its C4 LLDPE capacity in Cologne in Germany to metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) at the end of 2012 and a smaller closure is planned later this year by another producer.

C4 LLDPE trades around €1,280-1,290/tonne ($1,707-1,720/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and sellers are expected to push for higher prices again in July because of the tight supply situation.

Early May prices were at €1,160/tonne FD NWE.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214



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