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Serious Shortage Of Raw Materials Pushed Up The Price Of European PET

Jul 18, 2018

In June this year, rising raw material costs led to a sharp rise in the price of European standard thermoplastics. Due to tight supply, the price increase of PP copolymer and bottle grade PET is even higher than the cost increase.


    Over time, the fall in the price of naphtha has sparked speculation that prices may fall in July, leaving many producers unwilling to make purchases. In addition, this month marks the beginning of the holiday season, which will bring demand pressure. In June, the British Petroleum Company (BP) plant in Hull, Belgium, still had force majeure. Due to the continuing shortage of PTA raw materials, the European market faced further supply shortages last month. Some PET producers are unable to meet their contractual obligations to customers, and this situation is expected to continue for at least a few months. As the seasonal demand for beverage bottles peaked, buyers began looking for scarce raw materials.


    L/LDPE producers are considering raising prices, which at least compensates for the increase in ethylene contract prices by €63/t in June. For small contracts, the price is almost in line with the cost increase. However, for large and medium-sized contracts, the price increase is somewhat lower than the cost increase. The supply status of LDPE is currently in a good balance, but LLDPE is still in short supply. Producers are more cautious in buying prices as they are expected to fall this month.


    After the June contract price of ethylene rose by €63/ton, HDPE suppliers tried to increase the contract price to meet the rising cost base. However, HDPE's increase was around €50/tonne, below the planned range.


    In June, due to the reduction in ethylene production, restrictions on propylene were imposed, and the contract price of propylene rose by €80/ton. The rise in the cost of propylene has led to an increase in PP prices. The demand for PP is at a normal level.


    In June this year, the ethylene contract price rose by 63 euros / ton, which means that the price of PVC will rise by more than 30 euros / ton. Most PVC plants have no supply disruptions and imported raw materials can be found in southern Europe. Many producers believe prices in July will be lower due to lower-than-expected demand.


    The general-purpose polystyrene contract price rose by 45-50 euros/ton in June, slightly lower than the 60 euro/ton increase in the styrene monomer reference price.