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European PP buyers are still paying record-high prices

April 20/2011

(ICIS) -- European polypropylene (PP) buyers are still paying record-high prices as relief from a relentless round of price increases fails to materialise, sources said on Tuesday. Net homopolymer injection prices are currently trading on either side of EUR 1.400/tonne (USD 2.000/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), recording an almost constant price rise from a low of EUR 600/tonne at the end of 2008.

The expected flood of imports from new production in the Middle East has still not arrived, and sources do not expect this situation to change in the short term.

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical (Petro Rabigh) is planning to shut its 700 KTa PP plant at Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, at the end of April for approximately two months of maintenance.

Egypt's Oriental Petrochemical Co (OPC) is running its 160 KTa PP unit at about 80% because of a lack of propylene supply from Libya.

Pricing in Europe for April PP has been mixed, with producers taking a different approach to the market depending mainly on their stock position, but there has been no hint of a price reduction from European suppliers.

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