Europe PP sellers pushing for higher prices but volumes a priority

16 May 2018 13:45 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) sellers are still pushing for higher prices in May but volumes are also a priority, according to buyers on Wednesday.

Eye Ubiquitous/REX/ShutterstockThe May propylene contract rose by €25/tonne, and buyers said sellers began the month attempting to cover this upstream rise, and sometimes more, but that upward pressure had eased to an extent by mid-month.

“Everybody is committed to selling volumes,” said one. “Priority is [for] volume.”

Sources said they were cutting volumes with sellers that were insisting on big price hikes, and that there was plentiful supply in some grades.

Homopolymer was more widely available than copolymer, and random grades were balanced, with no oversupply.

Spot prices were generally higher, and a low of €1,140-1,150/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) was seen by many for homopolymer commodity grades.

The recent drop in the €/$ rate meant that new offers for July imports were expected to be higher.

Another development was in the upstream crude and naphtha markets.

Brent crude was trading close to $80/bbl, and naphtha was up by around €45/tonne compared to when the May propylene contract settled. Such a rise in costs was likely to lead to upward pressure on the June propylene contract and potentially on PP pricing.

For the moment there was little concern from buyers.

PP is used in packaging, the manufacture of household goods, and also in the automotive industry.

(Picture source: Eye Ubiquitous/REX/Shutterstock)

By Linda Naylor