US export PE prices mostly steady as a strong dollar inhibits overseas demand

12 October 2018 23:01 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US export prices for polyethylene (PE) were assessed mostly stable as a strong dollar and trade tensions with China continue to inhibit overseas demand.

Photo by Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock

Producers had sought to raise prices by around 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) for the export market in line with higher ethylene costs and the 2-3 cents/lb increase proposals announced in the domestic market.

Limited overseas demand caused by a stronger dollar and economic difficulties in several emerging economies persuaded most sellers to rollover their October export offers as price increase proposals faced some resistance.

Prices for high density polyethylene (HDPE) injection were assessed 1 cent/lb higher to 49-52 cents/lb on a free on board (FOB) US Gulf basis for bagged material as lower-priced HDPE injection cargoes were heard to be fading from the market.

The rise in prices for injection grade resulted in narrower spread between HDPE injection grade relative to blow moulding and high molecular weight (HMW) grades. HDPE injection had been trading at a significant discount to other HDPE grades as this grade had been relatively oversupplied compared to other HDPE grades.

Major US producers of PE include Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem), DowDuPont, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Formosa, INEOS, Total Petrochemicals and Westlake.

F169E889683B42343BE73AED35C0AF41.jpgImage above shows bottles that are made of PE. Photo by Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock

By Zachary Moore