In June, European standard thermoplastics presented mixed pricing movement. Polyethylene and polypropylene prices remained largely unchanged compared with May following a rollover for the respective ethylene and propylene contract prices.
Polystyrene prices, on the other hand, registered a sharp downturn after the June styrene monomer reference price plummeted, thus ending a four-month period of rising prices. European PET prices also saw a significant reduction. This followed lower feedstock costs and mirrored notations in other world regions that had previously fallen in May.
In July, petrochemical feedstock costs fell across the board as a result of lower naphtha costs and several cracker plants coming back on stream after maintenance.
In June, L/LDPE prices remained unchanged from the previous month following a rollover in the ethylene contract price. In July, the ethylene reference price fell by €75/tonne compared with June. L/LDPE producers managed to restrict price cuts to the €75/tonne reduction in the cost of feedstock.
HDPE suppliers, on the other hand, conceded price reductions of between €5-10/tonne in June as a result of competitively-priced imports. For July, HDPE blow moulding and injection moulding prices fell in line with the €75/tonne reduction in the ethylene reference price, whereas blown film prices fell by slightly less than the cost reduction.
In June, PP homopolymer film and homopolymer injection contract prices settled on a rollover while copolymer injection moulding prices fell by €10/tonne, mainly as a result of an inflow of competitively-priced imported material. By mid-July, polypropylene prices crashed by just less than the €80/tonne reduction in the propylene reference price.
In June, the styrene reference price plummeted €143/tonne and general-purpose polystyrene prices fell in line with the drop in feedstock costs. The July styrene reference price settled down €48/tonne and by mid-July general-purpose polystyrene contract prices traded around €45/tonne lower compared with the June closing level.
In June, PVC compound prices were mostly closed on a rollover basis following unchanged ethylene contract prices. In July, PVC producers hoped for a margin improvement by holding price rebates to below the cost reduction. However, by mid-July PVC compound prices fell in line with the ethylene cost reduction.
In June, the PET cost base fell by €85/tonne following sharp falls in paraxylene and monoethylene glycol. PET producers managed to restrict price rebates to €65-70/tonne.