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Outlook for polyethylene in Europe remains uncertain

November 25/2011

(ICIS) -- The outlook for polyethylene (PE) in Europe remains uncertain with some grades faring better than others, but many suppliers and buyers see little chance of a significant upturn before well into the first quarter of 2012, sources said on Friday. We hope to be able to stabilise the situation in December and work through inventories in January, said one producer. We might be able to lift prices slightly in January and February, but thats not sure right now.

Production has been cut back in the PE market for several weeks, and currently low density polyethylene (LDPE) looks in better balance than only two weeks ago. Two large LDPE units in France and Sweden are offline for maintenance, and these have relieved the oversupply seen in early November.

On the other hand, some production that had been heavily reduced is now coming back on line.
US chemical producer Dows PE plants are ramping up following several weeks of heavy cutting back, and buyers say they see the effect of this in the linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) market, which remains the most fiercely contended sector.

Metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) C6 sellers are still competing for market share at low prices, barely above ?1,100/tonne ($1,467/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) according to some buyers, leading to shifts in product mix between LLDPE grades.
Price ranges reported by buyers are very wide, however, with MLLDPE C6 talked at ?1,120-1,250/tonne.

Perspectives of development of the polymers markets, pricing issues and other important aspects will be discussed at The Polymers Summit-2011, which will be held in Moscow on November 30, 2011 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Summit is organized by MRC with the support of ICIS. The main idea of the Summit is to find a "the golden mean" between producers and converters. When producers receive exactly such margin of production, which helps them to invest in production expansion in order to substitute polymers imports, and the converters receive such price of feedstock that helps them to compete imported finished products. The Summit site gives an access to the live video of the Summit, speakers" presentations, as well as opportunities to ask questions or make appointments to any Summit partcipant.

Tags:PE, LDPE.
Category:General News
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