LONDON (ICIS)--European low density polyethylene (LDPE) is considered one of the strongest polyethylene (PE) grades at present, amid confirmation of the lifting of Versalis’s LDPE force majeure from its Dunkirk, France, plant.
“We had issues at the end of June and had to declare force majeure, but it finished very quickly and we have officially lifted it…we were able to supply pretty quickly again and the plant is up and running...without any problem.”
LDPE spot prices have firmed in July, and several buyers were expecting an upward move from producers in the coming weeks as they saw the current market at the bottom, or close to it.
Several producers closed July order books mid-month, and early-month special deals were quickly disappearing from the market.
The focus of the market has moved towards August and the upcoming new ethylene contract price, and what impact it may have on the PE market.
The ethylene market has been firmer than expected in July and the restart of planned cracker outages has not seen the easing of spot monomer, as was expected.
Recent spot deals were being done just short of the current contract, and several PE players were still expecting more or less a rollover for the August contract.
The July ethylene contract settled down by €50/tonne, at €965/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
LDPE spot prices were said to have been done around €1,100/tonne FD NWE at the beginning of July but now levels were trading in the mid-to-high €1,100s/tonne.
LDPE and LLDPE are used in packaging and the agricultural industry.
Image: Polyethylene bags. Source: PhotoAlto/REX/Shutterstock