Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 34

polymer prices

European petrochemical feedstock contract prices; November 2020 - January 2021 (€/tonne)

Ethylene
Propylene
Styrene
Benzene
Paraxylene

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Change Dec/Jan

775

775

795

860

65

720

720

735

800

65

721

779

918

102

108

353

418

521

686

165

516

515

545

605

60

€/tonne

Source: PNE

L/LDPE

PP

In December, producers of L/LDPE posted
planned price increases way above the €20/
tonne rise in the ethylene contract price.
LDPE saw gains of €85/tonne with LLDPE
registering more moderate gains of €55/
tonne. LDPE supply was very low due to
several plant outages and strong export orders. LLDPE supply was not quite as short as
LDPE. There was however less Middle Eastern imported material available.
Demand was livelier than usual for December with stockpiling in the UK and coronavirus-related stock building on the continent.
Converters were also aware of large cost increases to be passed through in January.
In January, producers asked for increases
of €200/tonne even though ethylene costs
had only risen €65/tonne. Producers justified
the margin increase on material tightness
and higher prices in other world regions. L/
LDPE prices had increased €140-150/tonne
by mid-month.

HDPE
In December, HDPE sellers managed price
increase above the €20/tonne ethylene contract price increase as a result of tightening
availability and higher than usual demand.
Price increases varied between different
grades; blow moulding gained €45/tonne,
blown film €50/tonne and injection moulding €60/tonne.
Supply from European producers was
rather limited by unscheduled plant outages while imports from the US were lower than normal. Demand was much livelier
than usual as converters restocked in anticipation of a large price rise at the beginning
of the New Year.
In January, HDPE producers called for
price hikes of €200/tonne despite only a €65/
tonne rise in the ethylene contract price. Producers justified the price rise on grounds of
tight availability due to plant outages, lower
imports, and higher prices in other world regions. HDPE prices had increased €140-150/
tonne by mid-month.

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P032_P034_SP_20210209.indd 34

In December, PP producers pushed through
price hikes well above the €15/tonne rise in
the propylene contract price. Homopolymer
injection grades increased €45/tonne with
homopolymer film and copolymer injection
grades up by €50/tonne.
Supply was hampered by a number of
planned and unplanned plant outages and
lower imports. Demand was unusually good
for December. Converters were pre-buying
in expectation of higher January prices. Film
grade demand benefitted from strong packaging sales as a result of coronavirus-related lockdowns being introduced across the
continent.
In January, PP producers called for price
hikes of up to €200/tonne, which was well in
excess of the €65/tonne rise in the propylene
contract price. Producers justified the hefty
increase on plant outages leading to market
tightness, strong demand and higher prices in other world regions. PP prices had increased €140-150/tonne by mid-January.

PVC
PVC prices continued their sharp upward
trend in December with gains above the
rise in ethylene costs. PVC base resin prices increased by €25/tonne, unplasticized.
PVC compounds increased €20/tonne with
price stability for additives. Plasticised PVC
compounds increased €30/tonne reflecting
higher plasticiser prices.
PVC base material remained short because of several planned and unplanned
plant stoppages. Demand from building and
construction was high and many converters
were building stocks ahead of an expected
large price rise in January.
In January, PVC prices maintained an uptrend for the eighth month in a row. Producers
called for price increases of up to €100/tonne,
which is well in excess of the proportionate
€32.5/tonne ethylene cost rise. Producers
said the price increase was due to tight availability, a need to compensate for low caustic
soda prices and good demand.

PS
In December, polystyrene prices surged due
to a sharp increase in feedstock costs. Many
producers asked for significantly higher prices than the €139/tonne rise in the styrene
monomer reference price with one supplier
asking for a price increase of €250/tonne.
Nevertheless, GPPS prices were up €160/
tonne over the month with HIPS increasing
€165/tonne.
Material availability was limited by several
planned and unplanned plant outages and
strong exports orders from Asia. Demand was
high as many converters bought whatever
additional material they could before a further
expected price hike in January.
In January, PS maintained a strong upward
trajectory following the €108/tonne rise in the
styrene monomer reference price. By midmonth, contract prices were settling €110120/tonne higher compared to the previous
month. The tight supply situation has eased
somewhat compared to December and demand was normal.

PET
December PET prices saw increases of up
to €20-30/tonne with the increases mostly
reflecting higher paraxylene costs (+€30/
tonne), reduced availability, disrupted imports amid container issues, and an uptick in
demand amid supply concerns.
European PET prices accelerated after import PET prices started being offered above
the local ranges as a result of the shortage of
shipping containers in Asia and surging freight
costs. Local supply remained low despite
some plants returning after maintenance. Beverages demand deteriorated further due to the
worsening pandemic situation while hygiene
sector demand remained strong.
PET markets began the year on a firm
footing, supported by higher costs and lower availability due to a lack of imports from
Asia. Initial January offers showed increases
of €30-40/tonne. Import prices lost competitiveness due to the surging freight rates amid
a lack of vessel availability.

January/February 2021

1/29/21 12:18 PM



Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover4
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