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US PP demand improved in March

March 25/2011

(ICIS) -- US polypropylene (PP) demand has improved in March, but the rebound may be temporary as spot prices rise and buyers build inventory ahead of likely April price hikes, sources said on Thursday.

Buyers and sellers cited forecasts that feedstock propylene costs will rise by 5Ц10 cents/lb (USD 110Ц220/tonne, EUR 78Ц156/tonne) in April, driving PP contract prices up by an equal amount.

Buyers are generally operating with low inventories, and some have been hesitant to purchase spot material at higher prices than contract, a trader said.

Spot prices for prime homopolymer were heard at 80Ц83 cents/lb FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf) in railcar. Traders said these prices were not workable to any export markets.

Major North American PP producers include LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Total, Formosa, Phillips Sumika, Braskem Americas, Pinnacle Polymers, ConocoPhillips, Flint Hills Resources and Dow Chemical.

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