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Polymer buyers are facing delivery delays throughout Europe

December 20/2010

(ICIS)--Polymer buyers are facing delivery delays throughout Europe as cold weather affects transport systems, market sources said on Monday.

We have had several transport issues but miraculously havent had a stoppage yet, said a large polyethylene (PE) user. Our running stock is getting to very low levels though.

Most motorways in Germany are blocked due to snow and traffic jams, said a trader. In some parts, trucks of more than 7.5 tonnes are banned. We are advising our customers that delays cant be avoided.

Polyolefins converters were running on low stock levels at present, but the upcoming shutdown period was expected to mitigate the effect of the slowdown in deliveries.

Its mainly low density PE [LDPE] that would pose a problem for us, said another converter. We have enough linear [low density PE] in stock. As long as the weather gets better by January, we should be okay.

The adverse weather was not limited to northern areas, with some Middle Eastern areas also reporting unusually cold weather and even snow. Polymer production was running normally but there was talk of some cracker issues due to the cold weather.

INEOSs 320,000 tonne/year linear low density PE (LLDPE) unit at Grangemouth in the UK was now up and running after experiencing some downtime linked to the cold weather.


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