MOSCOW (MRC)--The devaluation of the Russian rouble (Rb) and higher oil prices led to a rise in prices of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in the Russian market in May. The pipe grade polyethylene (PE) prices, which grew by Rb6,000/tonne ($96/tonne), accounted for the greatest price increase, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.
Russian producers managed to balance the domestic market after the surplus winter months, except for film-grade HDPE.
PE import volumes are still significant for the Russian market, but the weakening of the rouble against the dollar also led to an increase in prices of imported HDPE. In general, the price rise was from Rb2,000/tonne to Rb6,000/tonne, with black pipe grade PE accounting for the greatest price increase.
There was a slight shortage in the injection moulding HDPE market in late April-early May, but there was no rush because of this factor. Supply of this PE grade grew in the second half of May due to higher production by Kazanorgsintez.
The price spread was quite wide during the month. In some cases, prices reached Rb94,500/tonne CPT (carriage paid to) Moscow, including VAT.
Demand and supply were balanced in the blow-moulding HDPE market in the first half of May, but already in the third week of the month, some sellers began to restrict their sales, particularly, of 273-83 HDPE grade, which was the reason for the price increase.
Overall, May deals for blow moulding HDPE were done in the range of Rb89,000-92,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.
Supply of natural pipe grade HDPE was tight in the market in the first two weeks of May. Due to a number of reasons, the key suppliers of this PE grade - Stavrolen and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat - resumed shipments of polymer to the domestic market only in the third week of the month.
At the same time, the shortage did not lead to a price increase, deals were negotiated in the range of Rb91,500-93,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in late May.
Unlike natural grade PE, prices of PE 100 grade of black pipe HDPE rose from Rb101,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in April to Rb107,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this month.
Supply of film-grade HDPE was excessive in the market, and this factor limited an amount of the price rise in May.
Russian PE was sold at Rb93,500-95,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, prices of Uzbekh blow moulding HDPE have grown to Rb92,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, by the end of the month.
($1 = Rb62.69)
MRC, a partner of ICIS, produces polymers news and pricing reports from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.