European PE, PP players watch as Hanjin seeks bankruptcy protection

05 September 2016 12:34 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) players in Europe are watching events surrounding the failure of South Korean shipping major Hanjin, several said on Monday.

International news agencies reported that Hanjin was seeking protection for its fleet of ships, some of which have been stranded since the company's failure last week.

“I do not expect any short-term impact on the polymer market,” said a trader.

“We are not facing any problems... but it might be that we face higher freights in the near future, but this is speculation.”

Fierce competition and falling freight prices have been a feature of this sector for some time, said sources.

“Nobody said anything to me yet,” said a PE buyer, “but there must be consequences. They won’t be felt yet, but they could be in a few weeks’ time.”

Europe has become a net importer of some high density polyethylene (HDPE) grades in recent months and has been a net importer of some linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) grades for several years. 

So far, it is not known if the Hanjin situation will affect deliveries into Europe.

A polymer producer admitted it had some material on the water on a Hanjin vessel, but said any comments at this stage would be based on speculation.

By Linda Naylor