Europe MLLDPE prices firm slightly on higher ethylene

13 June 2014 17:19 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) prices are moving up largely in line with pricing in the wider polyethylene (PE) market, alongside the €10/tonne hike in the June ethylene contract, source said on Friday.

They said this was more to do with cutbacks and curtailments than strong demand, however, that were affecting other PE grades more than in the wider linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) sector.

LLDPE sellers had been looking for more than the €10/tonne increase of  the June ethylene contract, and some sellers noted success in the low density polyethylene (LDPE) market, whereas in the LLDPE market it was proving harder to lift prices, they said.

The focus of the market in the second half of the week was the rise in crude oil and naphtha prices, on tensions in Iraq. Any sustained price rise in this sector would inevitably impact sentiment when it comes to discussing next month’s ethylene monomer settlement.

Spot ethylene prices have rallied and a deal was concluded this week at €1,015/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). The June contract stands at €1,170/tonne FD NWE. Spot ethylene traded as low as €860/tonne FD NWE in May.

LLDPE imports have been reduced in 2014, and the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan, due to begin on 28 June, was expected to have an impact on suppliers from major Middle Eastern importers.

There was not much talk of South Korean imports this week and little evidence of volumes coming from new production in Singapore.

Cracker production rates are estimated to be running at 80-85% of capacity.

MLLDPE is used in the manufacture of stretch film.

By Linda Naylor