Stay abreast of the US polyethylene market
Updated to Q2 2018
US polyethylene (PE) supply increased in the second quarter following a period of tight availability in the first quarter. However, supply remained tighter than anticipated as new PE plants have yet to reach full production rates. Supply for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) loosened towards the end of the quarter while supply for high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) remained tight.
US PE domestic demand remained steady in the second quarter, with most buyers keeping their raw material offtakes at levels similar to the same period of the prior year. Overseas demand was heard to be crimped by a strong dollar and contentious elections in a number of key export destinations. Trade tensions between the US and China were also heard to be generating some reluctance to buy on the part of Chinese customers.
We offer the following regional Polyethylene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the US Polyethylene marketplace.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Polyethylene, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is used predominantly as a packaging film, either on its own or blended with linear low density PE to improve mechanical properties.
The weekly US polyethylene (PE) report covers eight grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE).
Domestic price quotes in the report provide a reference for the US contract market.
Our methodology is to post net prices for small-volume buyers. US contract discussions occur monthly, but the weekly report gives buyers an update on market sentiment leading up to the assessment of prices.
Export price quotes address the remaining 20–30% of US product that goes offshore.
The report also tracks ethylene trends, including major plant outages, contract settlements and spot-trading activity. The information from the report originates from producers, traders and buyers of PE.
Customers enjoy reading the US PE report because it provides accurate pricing, as well as international context and varied viewpoints to judge the direction of the market.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Polyethylene. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
ICIS pricing’s weekly Polyethylene US margin report covers integrated and stand-alone production of both low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) in the US. Two types of integrated model are provided, one based on ethane, the dominant cracker feedstock in the US, and the other on light naphtha. Both take full account of cracker co-product credits. The stand-alone models consider LDPE and HDPE production from purchased ethylene. Both contract and spot pricing models are included.
For more information on ICIS pricing’s weekly Polyethylene US margin report, read the full methodology.
With the ICIS Polyethylene US Margin report, you will be able to:
More on ICIS margin reports
Whether you are a buyer, a seller or a trader, ICIS weekly margin reports can help you understand how costs and prices hit product profitability. Our weekly reports provide prompt signals on the direction of variable margins for a range of commodities. Our weekly margin offering delivers reliable and timely indicators of the extent to which producers are covering their fixed costs. ICIS margin calculations are underpinned by Linde Engineering plant manufacturing and feedstock yield models.
For more information on ICIS margin models in general, view our video.