PP, PE, PVC higher; PS mixed; ABS flat: Polymerupdate Asian resin prices, March 12-16


Polypropylene (PP) prices edged higher last week in Asia, rising as demand sentiments lifted. Gains in crude and naphtha rates coupled with firmer feedstock propylene also supported the rise in spot PP values, according to Polymerupdate. PP injection molding prices were assessed up at $1430/tonne CFR Far East Asia, while CFR South East Asia prices were assessed up at $1450/tonne. Offers from the Middle East to India were last heard at $1470/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva for PP injection and raffia grades while PP film offers were at $1490/tonne CIF. Fresh offers which were expected to be higher were awaited. In the Indian market, local players contacted by Polymerupdate said they were expecting a price hike announcement in PP and PE from Reliance Industries Ltd. In China, Sinopec hiked its prices of PP by Yuan 350/tonne with the buying mood reported to have improved.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) prices marched higher last week. Sellers told Polymerupdate that demand was not robust, but in spite of that, they succeeded in steering their rates higher, supported by tight regional product availability and high upstream product costs. HDPE film prices were assessed up at $1420 to $1430/tonne CFR Far East Asia on Wednesday. CFR South East Asia prices were assessed up at $1430 to $1440/tonne. In India, the last HDPE film offers from SABIC were at $1470/tonne while PTTPM from Thailand offered its material at $1500/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva. HD raffia price offers to India from Thailand were at $1540/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva. On Wednesday, March 14, India's Reliance Industries announced a Rs 2/kg basic hike in its prices of HDPE with effect from March 15th. A trader contacted by Polymerupdate said that with the cracker turnaround season underway in Asia, his company expected avails of both olefins and polyolefins to start tightening. He also noted that from April onward, demand for PE would likely improve, and if energy prices continued strong, he expected to see HDPE prices in Asia climb further.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices also marched higher in Asia bolstered by reports of tight regional product availability. CFR Far East Asia LDPE prices were assessed up at $1420 to $1430/tonne, while CFR South East Asia prices were assessed up at $1450/tonne CFR. A local source in India reported to Polymerupdate that the last overseas LDPE offers to India from a producer in Thailand were at $1510/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva. India's Reliance Industries hiked its prices of LDPE by Rs 2/kg basic on on Wednesday, March 14, effective March 15.

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) prices climbed in Asia last week rising on tight regional product availability, high upstream crude and naphtha costs, robust ethylene prices and squeezed PE maker margins. On Thursday, LLDPE prices were assessed at $1355/tonne CFR Far East Asia, a week-on-week spike of $35/tonne. CFR South East Asia prices were assessed up at $1430/tonne. An Indian trader told Polymerupdate that his company was awaiting fresh offers for LLDPE, with the last offers they received from a large Middle East producer coming in at $1500/tonne CIF, noting that these prices are no longer available in the markets.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices marched higher in Asia, as sellers cited high upstream costs as a reason for the price increase. CFR China PVC prices were assessed at $1015 to $1020/tonne with offers at $1040/tonne CFR. CFR South East Asia prices were assessed up at $1040/tonne with offers at $1050/tonne and higher. A Taiwanese producer was heard to have sold out allocated quantities to India at $1060/tonne. A South Korean producer's offer to India was at $1090/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva. In China, local prices of ethylene-based PVC were assessed up at Yuan 7050 to Yuan 7100/tonne levels, a rise of Yuan 200/tonne from last week.

Polystyrene (PS) prices in Asia were mixed, with relatively stable prices of feedstock styrene monomer (SM), keeping sellers from announcing any steep price hikes. General-purpose PS prices on Wednesday were assessed at $1590 to $1600/tonne CFR China with offers to China heard at $1620 to $1630/tonne CFR. CFR South East Asia prices of GPPS were assessed at $1600 to $1610/tonne with offers at $1630/tonne CFR. High-impact PS prices were assessed at $1800/tonne CFR China mark, unchanged from last week. Offers to China were at $1840/tonne CFR and higher, while CFR South East Asia prices of HIPS were assessed at $1810/tonne. Prices of EPS slipped with rates in China falling to $1640/tonne FOB North East Asia.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices quoted steady in Asia last week, with CFR China prices on Wednesday assessed at $2170 to $2180/tonne, unchanged from the week before. Offers were at $2200 to $2280/tonne CFR. CFR South East Asia ABS prices were flat at $2180 to $2190/tonne. An ABS buyer told Polymerupdate that despite firm acrylonitrile (CAN) and SM feedstock prices, his company was not bullish in its outlook for ABS. The prior week's steep $250/tonne drop in feedstock butadiene prices, warranted a price reduction in regional ABS rates, and the fact that the next week's prices were stable points towards a price reduction in ABS in the near future.

Plastics Today