Europe MLLDPE availability ample; sellers feel market share pressure

25 October 2013 18:12  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Availability of metallocene linear low-density polyethylene (MLLDPE) in Europe remains ample, and this week’s announcement by Versalis that it will be importing MLLDPE into Europe after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Korea’s LG is expected to maintain pressure for market share among sellers, sources said on Friday.

The most recent addition of MLLDPE capacity in Europe was from INEOS at Cologne in Germany. The company converted its C4 (butane-based) linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit to MLLDPE at the end of the year, and its presence has been felt in the market since then.

Many buyers have remained with their traditional supplier and are often prepared to pay a premium for ExxonMobil product, while spot sellers often sell at €50-60/tonne ($69-83/tonne) below.

Spot C6 (hexane-based) MLLDPE prices were heard trading below €1,350/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) this week, while some buyers are still prepared to pay €1,400/tonne FD NWE and above for their regular supplies.

MLLDPE currently holds a premium over non-metallocene C6 LLDPE, but some sources expect this to disappear in the coming years as increasing amounts of MLLDPE production comes on stream globally.

Some sellers were keen to fill any potential shortfall of non-metallocene based C6 LLDPE as INEOS’s Grangemouth, UK, production was brought down, but stocks at the site were thought to be high, and the plant is due to start imminently.

MLLDPE is often used for agricultural and industrial film. It is also used in the manufacture of pallet stretch wrap and food packaging film.

($1 = €0.72)

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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