Europe PE players consider pricing as May ethylene talks progress

25 April 2014 10:41 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European polyethylene (PE) players are waiting to see where the May ethylene contract will settle to give a clue to May PE pricing, sources said on Friday.

On Friday an ethylene producer said it would be seeking a €40-50/tonne increase for the May ethylene contract, citing higher naphtha costs as political tensions rise over the situation in Ukraine.

The producer said there was no consensus of a decrease in the new contract, as several PE players had expected.

On Friday one major PE producer said it expected a rollover to small increase for May ethylene, while a second said it expected a rollover to small decrease.

Spot ethylene has been trading at levels well below the April contract of €1,165/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), but naphtha prices have been rising, and on Thursday naphtha closed at $937-939/tonne CIF (cost insurance & freight) NWE.

April PE pricing is not yet fully settled, and at least one producer is still targeting an increase when it settles retroactive business at the end of the month.

The momentum in an upward price move in PE at the beginning of April faltered as at least one major producer abandoned it and rolled prices over from March in the first days of the month.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) net prices are still around €1,260-1,280/tonne FD NWE, and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) C4 trades at €1,250/tonne FD NWE, give or take a few euros. High density polyethylene (HDPE) prices have lifted a little, but some remain low, around the €1,200/tonne mark, up to €1,240-1,250/tonne at smaller accounts.

By Linda Naylor