Polyethylene Prices, markets & analysis
With a network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US, ICIS is fully equipped to keep you updated on everything that happens in the global Polyethylene market, whether you buy or sell Polyethylene or related products.
From daily and weekly reports containing price assessments obtained by our network of local reporters, to the Polyethylene news and analysis, we provide the tools you need to make confident business decisions.
Polyethylene overview Transcript
Polyethylene or PE is mainly sold as small pellets to converters who then heat it up and form it into films, bottles and other useful shapes.
We cover several grades there’s several grades, low density polyethylene or LDPE, supply in the US is the tightest of all the grades and also commands the highest price premium.
Linear low density or LLDPE is next off the value chain for producers, and then there’s high density polyethylene or HDPE for moulding is typically viewed as the baseline commodity grade.
Packaging is another major use for polyethylene. Polyethylene is also used as an application in injection moulding of household goods and pipe extrusion.
In recent years, buyers have been faced with increasing complexity in the polyethylene market.
Different factors of feedstock costs, supply / demand balances and export pricing have come into play at different times.
Pricing increasingly depends on international markets because of the low cost of US feedstocks. Producers will be able to export whatever material they do not sell in the US.
How we can help
Polyethylene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Polyethylene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polyethylene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Polyethylene
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Related products – You might also be interested in the information we publish on these related products
You may also find useful
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polyethylene
Track historical price data
Other types of reports we cover for Polyethylene
Use margin reports to assess the profitability of commodities
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Polyethylene
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Polyethylene: Market overview
Asia’s polyethylene (PE) market outlook in January-February is widely perceived to be bearish on expectations of a slowdown in downstream demand and an increase in local supply in the key China market, but it was too early to gauge the price direction in March, industry sources said.
European PE prices are expected to lift slightly in January as sellers seek to recover the €15/tonne increase in January ethylene, and importers attempt to recoup the supplementary 3.5% increase in import duties from GCC countries. Players are aware of the drop in naphtha prices and many buyers expect pricing to ease as the quarter progresses, but much depends on cracker rates because fundamental demand remains weak.
US PE prices are expected to hold steady in January because producers are satisfied with the margins achieved in 2013. Two US producers announced separate price increases of 4 cents/lb for February contracts, but sources have said it is much too early to gauge the potential success of February price increases, and that it will depend on whether the market tightens in advance of planned cracker turnarounds in April. PE prices in Latin America have been influenced by many factors such as the cost of raw materials or changes in availability of resins, but the factor expected to have the greatest impact in the first quarter is volatility in currency fluctuations.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
News & analysis
Polyethylene news & analysis
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settlements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
- Spot and contract price assessments
- Market commentary on trends and developments
- Transactions reported and confirmed
- Plant and production news
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Price forecast services
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
Dashboard – Easy access to ICIS pricing data
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
ICIS Chemical Business magazine
If you want to keep updated on the factors driving price movements in the global chemical markets, ICIS Chemical Business provides a summary of the information you need to support your business decisions. Every week, our global team of experts digests and summarises the key issues and their potential impact on the market – all in one magazine.
Market Studies & Analysis
ICIS publishes global annual studies, as well as dedicated reports on domestic China markets, which will help you navigate the complex petrochemical, oil and gas industries in the medium-to-long term. Our studies and reports provide expert analysis and forecast data on supply, demand, production and capacity for specific markets.
Supply & Demand Data
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
Training & Conferences
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
Find out more about ICIS training courses >>
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Find out more about ICIS conferences >>
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
General Polyethylene Methodology Consultation read more >
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Polyethylene, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
LLDPE Forward Curve Methodology
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.