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.
Updated to Q2 2017
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The Asian polyolefins sector is expected to experience lengthened supply due to additional global capacities for both polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets. Furthermore, the industry has also seen changes in government policies, which might change trading dynamics due to capacity expansions in the near future.
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European PE buyers have been able to achieve lower prices in November, despite higher upstream naphtha costs. As producers’ margins are compromised, can this trend continue?
Find out in the latest insight piece by ICIS senior editor Linda Naylor.Access the market insight
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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