US PE export prices stable to lower on long supply, weaker global markets

Source: ICIS News

2018/12/07

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US export prices for polyethylene (PE) were flat to lower as prices in global markets remain weak while US PE supply is still long.

Sasol is set to start up its new 470,000 tonnes/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant in December after achieving mechanical completion of the plant.

Global LLDPE supplies remain long and are likely to lengthen further with the start up of Sasol’s new plant.

Butene (C4) LLDPE prices were assessed 1 cent/lb ($22/tonne) lower at 40-42 cents/lb free on board (FOB) US Gulf. Metallocene LLDPE (MLLDPE) prices were assessed 3 cents/lb lower at 45-47 cents/lb FOB as premiums for MLLDPE over butene narrowed.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) blow moulding and injection prices also moved lower. Blow moulding prices were assessed 3 cents/lb lower to 44-46 cents/lb while injection prices were assessed 1 cent/lb  lower at 45-47 cents/lb.

HDPE injection prices regained a premium over blow moulding prices for the first time in nine months. Relatively long supplies for injection grade had kept injection prices trading at a discount to blow moulding for most of the second half of the year.

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

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