For July, buyers of polyethylene were forced to absorb almost unprecedented price increases as the cost of crude oil and ethylene soared to record highs. L/LDPE sellers almost immediately recovered the €190/tonne rise in the Q3 ethylene contract price with gains averaging €170/tonne. HDPE sellers were not far behind with price increases between €130-150/tonne. The situation was somewhat calmer last month with PE up between €40-50/tonne.
All other polymer classes showed substantial gains over the last two months. PP prices have increased by €120-140/tonne since end of June. PS is around €100/tonne higher, which is in line with the rise in styrene monomer costs, while PVC saw gains of just less than €100/tonne after months of price stability. Bottle-grade PET also registered substantial gains due to soaring paraxylene costs.
This month, sellers of standard thermoplastics will have more of a battle on their hands should they decide to push for even higher prices. Crude oil prices are now down substantially from their peak with key feedstock costs also lower.