US export PE prices decline on weaker crude, sufficient supply

Source: ICIS News


HOUSTON (ICIS)--US export prices for polyethylene (PE) were assessed lower for most grades as declining crude oil prices and sufficient supply kept downward pressure on prices.

Lower crude oil and naphtha prices, which are the main drivers of global PE pricing, are undermining global prices for PE.

Overseas buyers have been engaging in some restocking activity as localised inventory levels have been thinning. The downward movement in pricing has also encouraged greater purchasing activity.

Offers for low density polyethylene (LDPE) were assessed 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne) lower to 47-49 cents/lb free on board (FOB) US Gulf as sellers revised prices downward to keep pace with lower prices in major export markets.

Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) butene (C4) prices were assessed 1 cent/lb lower to 43-45 cents/lb. Premiums for LLDPE hexene (C6) over butene continued to narrow, with some offers for LLDPE hexene at par with offers for LLDPE butene. LLDPE hexene prices were assessed at 44-46 cents/lb FOB.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) bimodal high molecular weight (HMW) prices were assessed 1 cent/lb lower to 52-55 cents/lb as higher priced offers faded from the market. HDPE blow moulding and injection prices were assessed 1-2 cents/lb lower at 49-51 cents/lb for blow moulding and 48-50 cents/lb for injection.

Major US producers of PE include Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem), DowDuPont, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Formosa, INEOS, Total Petrochemicals and Westlake.