FocusChina LDPE may extend gains; supply to remain tight in August

06 August 2013 07:31  [Source: ICIS news]

By Lizzie Yu

China LDPE may extend gains; supply to remain tight in AugustSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot domestic prices of low density polyethylene (LDPE) in China may continue rising this month, with supply expected to remain tight for the whole of August, industry sources said on Tuesday.

On 5 August, LDPE prices were assessed at yuan (CNY) 12,200-12,500/tonne ($1,990-2,039/tonne), up by CNY100-200/tonne from the previous week, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

Prices have risen by almost 10% since May, the data showed.

China’s LDPE imports have been dwindling, with poor cargo flows from its major supplier – Iran and this may persist throughout the month, market sources said.

LDPE supply for the whole of Asia is also tight following the shutdown of a 300,000 tonne/year facility in Map Ta Phut, Thailand.

The plant operated by PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) halted operations on 10 July because of a technical problem, and the shutdown is expected to last three and a half months.

In Malaysia, on the other hand, Peitlin has plans to shut its 255,000 tonne/year LDPE plant for 45 days of maintenance in September.

Within China, scheduled turnarounds at domestic facilities would also affect availability of spot LDPE cargoes, market sources said.

Daqing Petrochemical has shut its 265,000 tonne/year LDPE plant in Heilongjiang for around 15 days of maintenance from 5 August.

Yanshan Petrochemical, on the other hand, plans to shut its 320,000 tonne/year LDPE unit in Beijing for around seven days of maintenance by the end of the month.

CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co’s (CSPC) 250,000 tonne/year LDPE plant is also currently off line, according to local distributors.

Downstream producers, on the other hand, have been holding back purchases to prevent further spikes in LDPE prices.

($1 = €0.75 / $1 = CNY6.13)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Lizzie Yu

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