PE imports to Ukraine up 5% over seven months

MOSCOW (MRC)-- Over the seven months, Ukrainian companies increased PE imports to 174.3 KT, that was 5% more year on year. In July, total volume of PE import made 23.3 KT, according to MRC DataScope.

This year the peak of PE import to the Ukrainian market was observed in March (27.5 KT). Low pressure polyethylene (HDPE) prevails in the import supplies.

Overall volume of HDPE import in 2011 increased by 19% and made 76.4 KT. Other PE grades demonstrated negative dynamic. Following the seven months results, the supplies of LDPE and LLDPE decreased by 2% and 10% respectively.

The structure of HDPE supplies to the Ukrainian market has changed significantly. The largest increase in imports was observed in the sector of pipe polyethylene. This year supplies to this sector has increased by 52% and made 22.3KT (including supplies of uncolored pipe HDPE).

The leader of pipe HDPE market leader is colored PE100 by Sabic. In July, the most significant increase in pipe PE import was fixed in the material for production of pressure water pipe of PE4PP25B grade by Stavrolen.

Return to HDPE production at Karpatneftechem (Lukoil group) in 2010 reduced the volume of PE film import by 2% to 25.5KT. The leaders in imports are PE grades of Liten FB 75 (Czech company Unipetrol) and PE 293-285D (Russian Kazanorgsyntez).

Full interpretation of the analytics on the Ukrainian PE market by grades, technologies, converters is available in MRC DataScope for May, June and July, 2011


US propylene contracts pressured by a drop in energy prices

(ICIS) -- US propylene contracts for August began to settle flat on Friday, pressured by a drop in energy prices in the past two weeks.

US producers had originally sought a 3 cent/lb increase for the month, but buyers resisted the initiative and pushed for a rollover after crude oil prices started to falter. Market sources said that, except for one supplier, all settlement participants had agreed to the rollover.

The settlement keeps polymer-grade propylene (PGP) at 78 cents/lb (USD 1.720/tonne, EUR 1.204/tonne) and chemical-grade propylene at 76.50 cents/lb. US propylene contracts usually settle at the beginning of the month being negotiated.

Upstream, crude oil prices ended 1.7% down for the week for a monthly drop of around 10%.
Market activity this week centred on renewed jitters about the global economy, following the US credit downgrade by Standard & Poor's.


Asian PTA prices may continue to increase in the coming weeks

(ICIS) -- Asian spot prices of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) may continue to increase in the coming weeks, given a strong likelihood that costs of feedstock paraxylene (PX) will spike on tight supply once Fujia Dahua shuts its aromatics plant in Dalian, China, market sources said on Monday.

Offers for Taiwan PTA cargoes were quoted at USD 1.260-1.265/tonne (EUR 882-886/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) CMP (China Main Port) on Monday morning, up USD 10-15/tonne from Friday's levels, traders said, adding that one shipment was concluded at USD 1.260/tonne CFR CMP.

Over the weekend, the local government of Dalian in northeastern China has ordered that the 700 KTa PX plant be immediately shut following protests over the weekend that the company's aromatics facility be relocated on pollution concerns.

Early last week, rains and strong waves brought on by Typhoon Muifa breached the protective dike of Fujia Dahua's aromatics complex, raising concerns of toxic chemical spill among residents in the surrounding areas.


European BPA market players are forecasting shortages and tightness in the market

(ICIS) -- European bisphenol A (BPA) market players are forecasting shortages and tightness in the market from September because of upstream phenol supply problems caused by a force majeure at INEOS Phenol, sources said on Monday.

Another factor was that Slovakian company Slovnaft recently stopped production of feedstock phenol, exacerbating the shortage in Europe, sources said.

One BPA producer said that some buyers may find themselves in a difficult situation in September when INEOS Phenol shuts for planned maintenance for four weeks.

However, a BPA buyer said that the force majeure has not had any impact on the market and it will not change the situation in September. The buyer added that plenty of material is available despite the INEOS outage and additional product can be ordered from Asia and Russia if necessary.


India PE, PP prices stop rising on recession fears, large imports

(ICIS) -- India's polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) prices have stopped increasing this week, with large volumes of lower-priced imports purchased in July due to arrive in the country in the next three weeks, industry sources said on Friday.

In addition, volatile crude futures, which were triggered by fears of the US falling back into an economic recession, have resulted in a change in market sentiment.

Most local market players have retreated to the sidelines as a result of the incoming large supply and the uncertain market outlook.

Most offers for imports have been withdrawn and buying ideas were lower this week, causing a standstill in the domestic market, market players said.

The Indian import prices of linear low density PE (LLDPE) film, high density PE (HDPE) film, low density PE (LDPE) film and PP raffia have increased by USD 95-185/tonne (EUR 67-130/tonne) or 6.3-14.9% from early July to 5 August, according to data from ICIS.