LONDON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical is in the process of closing its order books for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) in December, a company source said on Friday.
“We are also close to an order stop on LDPE [low density polyethylene],” said the source.
Dow closed its 650,000 tonne/year ethylene cracker at Tarragona in Spain 2 December, as planned. LDPE and LLDPE are produced at the site.
Dow announced on 12 November that it had taken the decision to temporarily idle the cracker because of challenging market conditions and an unclear demand picture for PE, which it also produces at the Tarragona site
Since that decision was taken, offtake has improved and the supply/demand situation has tightened.
Sources did not see any improvement in fundamental demand, however.
LDPE and LLDPE prices have risen in December, mostly in line with the €30/tonne ($41/tonne) increase in the December ethylene contract, but several buyers said that Dow was imposing a €50/tonne on all its PE for December, on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.
LDPE is particularly strong, and spot prices have risen to €1,320-1,350/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), increasing by around €100/tonne in recent weeks.
($1 = €0.73)