Price corrections are expected in Asia as China’s PE prices had abnormally surpassed southeast Asian prices in the last quarter of 2016. However, numerous scheduled plant maintenance and production issues in Asia, Saudi and the Middle East could reduce supply and provide support for PE prices. Trade activity might pick up after Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January should restocking activity resume, as most converters had been holding low inventory.

New supply coming up in India in Q1 2017 is likely to lead to increased domestic supply. New capacity is also expected to see an increase in Indian PE exports to the Asian markets.

Demand conditions in the Middle East are less likely to see a change, with prices in these markets expected to be influenced by trends in Asia.

European PE sellers are looking to build some margin in 2017 but buyers expect to pay hikes below monomer increases. Import volume is expected to be lower in Q1 2017 as low prices in Europe could divert volumes to Asia, where netbacks are better.

Turkey’s PE prices will likely be driven by availability and upstream costs. Better netbacks in Asia have seen a drop in Turkey’s imports, pushing prices up for LDPE grade in particular. HDPE will likely remain over-supplied as Egyptian imports arrive in 2017, alongside existing Uzbekistan imports.

Market sentiment in US is bearish due to a 20-25% expansion of almost 4.5m tonnes new capacity slated for start-up in 2017. However, some producers had announced higher contract prices for February although market players expect oversupply to eventually bring prices down.

Production in Mexico remains constrained by raw material shortages. Seasonally, demand suffers in South America with the summer vacations, implying that demand may not improve until March.
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Updated to Q1 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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Polyethylene methodology

Polyolefins market outlook 2017

Polyolefins outlook 2017

The exceptional situation in 2015 for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets plus a series of planned maintenance closures this year are affecting decision making for buyers.

As we begin the new year, ICIS analyses the key topics and what to expect in 2017.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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Market outlook: Africa’s Polymer Potential

market outlook: africa polymers

Africa offers huge potential growth for plastics and the region has been attracting increasing interest from producers and traders in recent years. This outlook takes a look at Africa’s complex and challenging market made up of many economic and political differences, and how polymer consumption has fluctuated as a result.

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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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PE imports into Ukraine down by 5% in Q1 year on year

...300 tonne in first three months of 2017, down 5% year on year, driven by fewer deliveries of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene... Fri, 21 Apr 2017

China PE start-ups from CTO face delays

...China PE start-ups from CTO face delays. Amy Yu. Some of China’s new polyethylene (PE) capacities via the 
coal to olefins (CTO) route may not come... Wed, 19 Apr 2017

ExxonMobil moves US April PE 3 cent/lb increase initiative to May

...ExxonMobil moves US April PE 3 cent/lb increase initiative to May. Lane Kelley. HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil has pushed its proposed US polyethylene (PE)... Thu, 20 Apr 2017