Mexico polyolefin imports from US mixed in June

09 August 2016 19:17 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Mexico polyolefin imports from the US showed mixed results in June, according to data released this week by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Polystyrene (PS) resins, for example, continued to surge on a month-to-month and yearly basis, the data showed.

PS imports in June were 24.5% higher compared with the same month last year, and 33.5% higher than the previous month.

In general, export prices in June were pressured to decrease tracking US feedstock costs, and supply and demand.

Polypropylene (PP) imports from the US, on the other hand, were higher by 23.5% in June from May, but fell by 3.3% compared with the same month of 2015.

Mexico imports of US PP started to fall in February and continued with that trend through June, year on year. That could be attributed to an increase in lower-priced imports from Asia.

Polyethylene (PE) import trends were the result of supply and demand arithmetic.

Imports of high density PE (HDPE) increased by 9.3% in June compared with the same month last year, and were up by 6% against May. 

Although some HDPE resins was made available from Ethylene XXI, the Braskem Idesa joint venture in Veracruz state, some grades are yet to be seen in the domestic market.

In fact, according to sources, HDPE blow moulding bimodal resins – usually supplied by Pemex – were available. But monomodal resins, usually imported from US producers, such as Dow, Exxon and other US producers, are not available yet.

Imports of low density PE (LDPE) resins fell, despite tight supply from domestic producer Pemex. LDPE is not yet available from Ethylene XXI.

LDPE imports fell by 25.9% in June year on year, and by 14.7% month on month.

Causing the LDPE tight supply are Pemex's problems with ethane feedstock which has hampered its production, and an outage at Dow Chemicals' LDPE plant in Bahía Blanca, Argentina.

Dow Chemical has been sending its US material to the South American country to cover its own customers, according to a market source in Argentina,.

In fact, Argentina LDPE imports from the US rose in recent months, up 20% more in June year on year.

Mexico's linear low density PE (LLDPE) imports showed mixed results in June. Imports rose by 2.4% in June month on month, but fell by 27.8% compared with the same month in 2015.

The comparison to June of 2015 is misleading because production problems in Mexico boosted imports during the month.

By Marianela Toledo