Stay abreast of the US polyethylene market
Updated to Q3 2020
Two new LDPE plants with cumulative capacities of 820,000 tonnes/year are expected to start up in Q3, which should alleviate some of the limitations in prompt LDPE supply observed in Q2. Some HDPE turnarounds will keep supply for this product limited in the early weeks of the quarter. Participants will be keeping an active watch on the Atlantic hurricane season for any possible disruptions in the US Gulf production centre.
US PE demand is expected to remain stable to stronger in the third quarter even though the broader economy is expected to continue to struggle. Economic activity should begin to improve in Q3 but is likely to remain below levels seen during the prior year. Packaging demand will remain strong while construction, automotive and consumer goods applications could see a more gradual path to demand recovery. Export sales are likely to remain strong.
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.
More information about the price reports we publish on Polyethylene
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
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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.