US PE export prices weaken on supply length

Source: ICIS News

2019/01/11

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyethylene (PE) export prices were assessed flat to lower as persistent supply length continued to weigh down prices.

Supply is ample as US PE production rates have been strong, with buyers saying that they are receiving offers from sellers they had not previously heard from or had not heard from for some time.

January offers from producers were mostly rolled over from December, with some discounts given on certain grades while offers from traders carrying inventory were available at lower levels.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) availability has been improving after this product had experienced relative supply tightness in previous weeks. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) supplies remain long, although recent production data suggests that swing plants are running more HDPE than LLDPE.

HDPE high molecular weight (HMW) bimodal prices were assessed 3-4 cents/lb ($66-88/tonne) lower at 46-48 cents/lb free on board (FOB) while HDPE blow moulding and injection prices were assessed 1 cent/lb lower at 43-45 cents/lb.

Metallocene LLDPE (MLLDPE) prices were assessed 2 cents/lb lower at 44-46 cents/lb while butene (c4) and hexene (c6) LLDPE were assessed unchanged.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) prices were assessed 1 cent/lb lower at 44-46 cents/lb FOB.

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

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