China spot PE prices are expected to stabilise in the second quarter of 2017 as there were several scheduled domestic plants maintenance in April-May, which will regulate domestic supply and deplete existing inventory.

However, southeast Asian market players anticipate PE prices to remain stable to soft should there be no major improvements in end-product demand ahead of the Eid-ul Fitr holiday in June, as relatively low feedstock prices and expected healthier supply might weigh down on PE prices.

The outlook for US PE calls for prices to move a little higher before dropping much lower. The expectation for higher prices stems from producers who revised their proposed increase for March. The widespread market outlook is for a major decline in US PE prices because of three new worldscale crackers and downstream PE units scheduled to start up this year.

In Turkey, bearish sentiment is expected to continue until the upcoming constitutional referendum. Demand is then expected to climb in the lead up to Ramadan, potentially dragging prices up with it.

European PE prices have been supported by the lack of imports and a series of planned cracker closures that has kept ethylene supply tight. Higher prices in Europe, and lower prices in Asia, however, are leading to potential new arbitrage opportunities that could mean more imports in Europe by the end of the second quarter.
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Updated to Q2 2017

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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Pricing Intelligence

Trading and benchmarks

Support your day-to-day trading activities with immediate access to spot and contract price assessments for the global PE markets. You can also use  ICIS benchmarks to negotiate with your suppliers and develop your own internal price formulas.


Access and download the polyethylene methodology and consultations documents.

Polyethylene methodology

ICIS European Chemicals Mid-Year Outlooks and Videos

ICIS European Chemicals Mid-Year Outlooks and Videos

It has been a challenging start to the year for a number of key petrochemical products. Some markets have moved from volatility to stability over the last six months, and players are questioning what the rest of 2017 may bring. ICIS has published a series of outlooks, examining supply and demand expectations for the third quarter.

View the latest video interviews and read the market outlooks in which the olefins, aromatics, polyolefins and titanium dioxide (TiO2) editors provide an insight into what to expect in the coming months.

View the videos and outlook

Price Forecasting

Gain insight into global PE market price trends. The report allows you to analyse your market position, review production levels and facilitate your buying and selling strategy.

Price Margins

Understand how PE production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to assess the likely impact on your business and to optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.

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Data & Analytics

Supply and Demand

An expert view of supply and demand data for the global polyolefins market is available via our online supply and demand database.

ICIS publishes information on global and regional trade flows, production capacity and demand from 1978-2030.

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Annual Studies

ICIS annual studies give you in-depth analysis of past, current and future developments. Each study includes an analysis of capacity, production, consumption, trade flows and production economics. Supply and demand balances are included, plus information on actual and projected derivative capacities.

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ICB Magazine

Keep updated on price movements with ICIS Chemical Business magazine.

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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.

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ICIS Chemical Profile: Latin America HDPE

ICIS Chemical Profile: Latin America HDPE

ICIS Chemical Business are proud to present our first ever Latin America chemical profile for HDPE, which takes a look at uses, technology, pricing and supply and demand for this commodity.

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Other Services

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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ICIS training helps you to understand the fundamentals of the petrochemical industry.

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ICIS organises a range of global petrochemical conferences which offer you the chance to hear from key industry leaders, learn about the latest innovations and developments as well as network with your industry colleagues.

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ICIS Resources


Easy access to all resources including PDFs, Webinars, podcasts, videos and much more.

Delivery Solutions

Delivery solutions

ICIS offers a range of delivery solutions to meet your workflow needs.

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Stavrolen shuts down PE production

...Stavrolen shuts down PE production. Sergey Karaichentsev. MOSCOW ( MRC )-- Russia-based polyolefins producer Stavrolen has shut down its high density polyethylene... Tue, 19 Sep 2017

Russia HDPE imports fall 4.3% in January-August

...Russia HDPE imports fall 4.3% in January-August. Sergey Karaichentsev. MOSCOW (MRC)--Production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in Russia decreased... Tue, 19 Sep 2017

Russia’s HDPE imports up 49% in January-August

...Russia’s HDPE imports up 49% in January-August. Sergey Karaichentsev. MOSCOW ( MRC )-- Overall imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) into the Russian... Mon, 18 Sep 2017