31 December 2013 18:11 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two US polyethylene (PE) producers announced separate price increases of 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne, €63/tonne) for February contracts, sources said on Tuesday.
Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell each nominated separate increases for all grades of PE, effective on 1 February, according to copies of customer letters obtained by ICIS.
While the letters offer no reason for the proposed increases, sources said they are likely based on expectations that feedstock ethylene will be tight in the first few months of the year, ahead of planned cracker maintenance turnarounds set for April.
Sources said it was much too early to gauge the potential success of February price increases.
One market participant said it believes the increase proposals are an effort by producers to support January price levels. No price increase announcements have been heard for January PE contracts, which means producers are targeting a rollover from December price levels, sources said.
While many market participants said they believe prices will hold steady in January, there are some buyers who are holding out with hope that prices will move down during the month, after hopes for a decrease in the last quarter of 2013 were denied.
Contracts for December were heard to be settling at a rollover from November levels. However, further confirmation of a flat settlement was needed.
Current assessed prices for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) butene film were at 79-81 cents/lb DEL (delivered), low density polyethylene (LDPE) film prices were at 88-90 cents/lb DEL and high density polyethylene (HDPE) blow moulding prices were at 79-81 cents/lb DEL, for small volume buyers, as assessed by ICIS.
($1 = €0.72)
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