According to Chem-Courier’s data, PE prices gained €30 - 60/t week on week depending on the grade, or €70 - 125/t month on month, in Europe last week. However, this had no effect on demand. 'Producers increased the prices, but converters either rejected the offers or are buying minimal volumes," a trader commented.
The Serbian producer left the price unchanged after a €75/t rise in early September. As for the Saudi Arabian and the US material, fewer offers were heard of in the European market in September. Italian traders had some PE of US origin left in stock, but customers were on the sidelines. Local PE producers continued reducing utilisation of their facilities. The lower operating rates and smaller imports may entail shortages of LDPE, film HDPE, and C4-LLDPE if demand recovers in Europe.
As for PP, although the commodity prices have climbed €20/t week on week, or €55 - 70/t month on month, in Europe this week, demand has remained lacklustre. Chinese PP raffia has been on offer at $1,080 - 1,100/t CFR Europe. The Serbian producer has been selling its PP homopolymers at €1,050 - 1,100/t FCA for delivery in October and early November. The foreign material scheduled for early October arrival have also been available on the market.
Spot prices for PVC have never gone up in September. "We have noticed that lower offers have disappeared, but significantly higher prices are not observed either", a trader commented to Chem-Courier. Slovak K67 has been valued at €880 - 900/t FCA Central Europe (CE) and E-PVC at €1,500/t FCA this week. A local trader has put Taiwanese PVC up for sale at $910/t CFR Koper this week. The US polymer was available at $830 - 900/t CFR Europe in mid-September.
Central European market players have reported stronger PVC demand in the subregion. Italian and German traders, on the other hand, have informed that local buyers have taken a wait-and-see approach. ‘Demand in the housing, pipes and profiles segments is weak now, but soft application of PVC [K70] is more active,’ a market player said. The cable and compounding sectors have also been enjoying higher demand in September.
The Slovak producer Fortischem started the maintenance of its PVC facility in Novaky early last week. It will continue until end-September. A Polish producer has scheduled routine repair for October. Northwestern European producers have cut run rates to forestall a K67 surplus. K70 and K58 supply has already contracted this month.
Monomers are expected to get €40 - 50/t more expensive again in October. Some market players believe that polymers demand will remain tepid until the end of the year, while others believe predict a pick-up in buying in October when another price rise occurs in the market. Chem-Courier believes that availability will decrease on lower utilisation of European manufacturing facilities.