Europe MLLDPE flat, market waits for May ethylene contract

17 April 2014 16:58 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) activity has become flat with most other linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) grades this week, sources said on Thursday.

Earlier attempts by some producers to lift prices have fallen flat and monthly prices are largely stable. There was no weakness in the market, however, with sellers not in a hurry to sell and buyers having brought what they needed for the month.

Most sources are now waiting for the outcome of discussions over the May ethylene contract to see where polyethylene (PE) prices might land next month.

Ethylene spot numbers, that were as low as €860/tonne this week, could have an impact on the May contract, said sources, but naphtha, one of the principal drivers of ethylene, and hence PE pricing, is strong and producer sources expect this to have more of an impact on the new contract for next month than low-priced ethylene spot volumes.

PE producer sources cautiously report of limited change for the May ethylene contract but negotiations are not yet fully under way. The current contract stands at €1,165/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), subject to discounts.

Imports of MLLDPE were reported offered from South Korea this week, at delivered prices well below the spot levels reported above. These were not confirmed, however.

MLLDPE is used in the manufacture of film. Net spot prices are trading at €1,320-1,380/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

By Linda Naylor