Last month, sellers of L/LDPE more or less achieved the level of price increases they wanted as supply tightened and order intake strengthened. June settlements were between E70-80/tonne higher than in the previous month, reflecting the higher cost of oil and ethylene.
Demand was very lively in June with converters attempting to buy as much material as they could early in the month, given the expectation that prices would rise further in July. Some customers had difficulty obtaining the volumes they wanted, and most producers had closed their order books by mid-month.
Producer stocks are quite low and shortened even further last month. The situation was compounded by Dow calling force majeure for ethylene supplies from its production plant in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, due to technical problems.
This month, L/LDPE prices are expected to register a further strong upward movement. Producers will be firm in implementing price increases of E150-200/tonne to match the widely anticipated hike in the Q3 ethylene contract price.