Asia’s polyethylene (PE) market prices are expected to pick up in Q3 amid relatively tight supply due to several unscheduled shutdowns in June. Chinese converters are expected to ramp up production ahead of the G20 Summit shutdowns in early September and southeast Asian demand is also expected to increase. However, some market participants held a cautious outlook amid uncertainties in the market and this was echoed globally.

The Turkish PE market may pick up after Ramadan as buyers restock and under influence from Asia. Some new imports could dampen that effect on some PE grades, however. 

Increased supply in Latin America is expected to lead to strong competition from sellers in the third quarter. US sources had a similar view to South American counterparts, as new capacity comes on stream and needs to find a home.

European producers are raking in good margins from 2015 when supply became tight as crude crashed and the US dollar against the euro exchange rate changed dramatically. Import volumes into Europe have increased in recent months and demand has taken a dip, but producers are quietly optimistic for the next three months as European prices are again among the lowest in the world. They expect mild erosion to be followed by stability and potential limited upward movement towards the end of the third quarter.
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Updated to Q3 2016

PE Supply and Demand

Our new 'snapshot' view of supply and demand data for polyethylene (PE), offers an 11 year view on PE, revealing producers’ manufacturing capabilities enabling you to form an informed view of trade patterns.

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ICIS Infographic: Polyethylene pre-K Trade Fair snapshot

Gain deeper insight on China’s PP and PE marketsPolyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) buyers in Europe are facing further price increases for 2017, particularly those with contracts linked to upstream ethylene and propylene, and discussions are expected be tough.

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Market outlook: Africa’s Polymer Potential

market outlook: africa polymers

Africa offers huge potential growth for plastics and the region has been attracting increasing interest from producers and traders in recent years. This outlook takes a look at Africa’s complex and challenging market made up of many economic and political differences, and how polymer consumption has fluctuated as a result.

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What is Polyethylene?

The three main types of polyethylene (PE) are low density PE (LDPE), linear low density PE (LLDPE) and high density PE (HDPE).

HDPE is a thermoplastic white solid whose molecular chains are comparatively straight and closely aligned. It is resistant to most chemicals, insoluble in organic solvents and has high impact and tensile strength.

LLDPE is a thermoplastic, translucent white solid whose chains are comparatively straight and closely aligned, and has a lower density than HDPE.

LDPE is a thermoplastic white solid which has highly branched and widely spaced molecular chains.

End uses of HDPE include blow-moulding applications such as bottles, packaging containers, drums, fuel tanks for automobiles, toys and house wares. Injection-moulded articles made from HDPE include crates, pallets, packaging containers and caps, paint cans, house wares and toys.

LLDPE's short chain branching gives it higher tensile strength, puncture and anti-tear properties, making it particularly suitable for high strength film applications.

LDPE is used mainly in film applications for both packaging and non-packaging uses. Other markets include extrusion coatings, sheathing in cables and injection moulding applications.

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INSIGHT: Celanese boosts engineered materials with SoFTer deal nylon and PBT products. However, SoFTer does not specify any polyoxymethylene (POM or polyacetal) products or ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene... Thu, 20 Oct 2016

UAE's Borouge at full capacity on healthy global demand - Borealis’ CEO

...year of PP and 350,000 tonnes/year of low density polyethylene (LDPE), supporting cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE). Following the disruption of feedstock... Thu, 20 Oct 2016

Mexico Braskem Idesa shuts down cracker

...Mexico Braskem Idesa shuts down cracker. Marianela Toledo. HOUSTON (ICIS)--Mexican polyethylene (PE) producer Braskem Idesa shut down its ethane cracker... Thu, 20 Oct 2016