European LLDPE prices sink to lowest level in 15 months

09 March 2018 12:17 Source:ICIS News

Polytunnels in Huelva

LONDON (ICIS)--European linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) C4 (butene based) spot prices have fallen to their lowest level since late 2016, ICIS data showed on Friday.

What the market deemed to be “normal” price levels slipped to €1,180-1,120/tonne DDP (delivered duty paid), but pure spot prices at selected accounts were below this, and sellers were jostling to get market share.

For the first time, imports from new capacity in North America were offered, and sources said levels for this were below €1,050/tonne, usually at large accounts.

Most business was well above this.

Sellers agreed that monthly business was trading normally in most regions, but some were beset by low offers for extra volumes.

Many buyers and sellers in traditional markets such a Germany, France and the Netherlands were unaware of the low-priced spot activity in other regions like parts of eastern Europe and some southern areas.

“I am really concerned by some of the DDP numbers in eastern Europe,” said one seller.

“It’s [LLDPE C4 spot] distorting the whole market,” said another.

Other polyethylene (PE) grades had softened, but most were not showing the big drop that has been seen in the C4 LLDPE market.

Prices in Asia have stalled this week, and some lower levels were also circulating.

LLDPE is used in packaging and in the agricultural business.

Pictured above: 'Polytunnels', some of which are made of LLDPE, in Huelva, southern Spain
Source: Jassen Todorov/Solent News/REX/Shutterstock

By Linda Naylor