For the First Quarter of 2022
The PE market in China remained rangebound in January 2022 with limited fluctuations. LLDPE prices varied from 8622-8761 RMB/MT in China. In February, the prices rose sharply to 9248 RMB/MT but later dropped to 8830 RMB/MT by the end of the month. In the beginning of March 2022, the PE market was weak with limited support from cost side amid falling crude oil prices even though the downstream industry remained enthusiastic. By the end of the quarter, the PE spot prices rose steadily, with ex-factory prices rising by 50-150 RMB/MT. LDPE prices in China by the end of Q1 2022 were 11,750 RMB/MT.
Following constant feedstock costs and sluggish demand, polyethylene and polypropylene prices rolled over in January. Polyethylene prices rose less than the 67.5 EUR/MT increase in feedstock costs in February. L/LDPE prices increased by 30-35 EUR/MT.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
The Asian market saw the inverse of the North American pattern, with average prices increasing in Q4 from Q3 levels, while film grade costs jumped by about 10% in China. Supply-side constraints remained in Q4, as freight prices from Europe, the United States of America, and the Middle East to East Asia reached record levels during the October and November.
India, too, showed a considerable increase in average costs compared to Q3 levels. During Q4 examinations, a substantial rise of 15% in the LDPE adhesive film grade was found. India was impacted by coal shortages at the same era, driving up energy costs. Although RIL, Opal, and GAIL began adjusting prices lower in December, the price cuts had little effect in the fourth quarter, as demand outpaced supply throughout the quarter.
Similar to the US market, the European market showed a small decline in LDPE pricing during Q4 of FY21 compared to Q3 levels. The average price of film grade polymer was 2.3% lower in Q4 than in Q3. Since the final week of November FY21, demand decreased as a result of the holiday season. This time around, the natural gas market's abnormal trajectory had a direct influence on production levels, since prices were in a downward trend for the bulk of Q4 and only began to reverse in the second week of December. This resulted in exporting nations such as the Netherlands and Belgium maintain their current production levels. However, the fresh pandemic wave damaged their export base, as East Asia returned to lockdown mode in the last weeks of Q4, substantially lowering LDPE prices.
As a consequence of supply constraints during the post-deep freeze era in the United States, shipments from Northeast Asia were shifted to Europe and the domestic market in an effort to maintain market stability. However, output had recovered by early to mid-October, resulting in a surplus on the local market. Demand from the packaging industry provided some breathing room for the markets, but the return of strict lockdowns and quarantine protocols in China and Northeast Asia forced companies, to drastically cut their prices due to a lack of overseas demand.
Demand for polyethylene in Latin America was huge and growing continuously. Regional demand was more than 7 MMT per year and was predicted to climb 8.6 MMT. The Latin American PE sector is projected to continue to be directed by worldwide prices, especially affected by the US market, since this will continue to be the standard for regional producers in deciding pricing.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
In Q3 2021, the domestic LDPE prices increased in Asia. Since August, the pricing trend continued to climb, backed by sustained growth in consumer demand amidst tight regional supply. A surge in delta variation instances affected the supply chain with several nations in Q3, resulting in unpredictable pricing. In India, demand remained strong throughout the quarter, with prices increasing from 1090 USD/MT to 1206 USD/MT. Indian producers originally saw reasonable demand for the majority of resins, including LDPE. Later, as a result of the abrupt increase in pandemic cases and the adoption of movement restrictions, demand in the packaging industry decreased. As a result of the large inventory in India, demand remained negative throughout the quarter, and LDPE prices fell from 1808 USD/MT to 1534 USD/MT for adhesive film grade in April-June.
Further, the demand for LDPE remained weak to moderate, while supply remained limited due to reduced imports. Prices changed regularly during the quarter, owing to the unpredictability of the demand-supply scenario. In February, the average price of LDPE film grade in India remained at 1608 USD/MT.
Demand for LDPE was modestly positive in Europe, although prices remained persistently high due to reduced imports and limited supply. Imports from the United States were low owing to the region's manufacturing activities being hampered by a severe winter storm. Reduced imports and increased domestic and worldwide demand resulted in a sharp increase in prices. Throughout the first part of the quarter, Europe witnessed a severe supply shortage of numerous polymer resins, resulting in a substantial increase in the price of LDPE across the area. This supply bottleneck was exacerbated by decreased import activity from the United States and Asia for a variety of reasons.
In the third quarter, production increased as a result of the ongoing repair of numerous units. PE prices reached an all-time high earlier in 2021 as a result of catastrophic weather conditions in the US Gulf, which resulted in the loss of significant amounts of ethylene and PE capacity, hence reducing both supply and demand. LDPE prices across Europe deteriorated as a result of the erratic market environment and were finally fixed in September at 2055 USD/MT.
During Q1 2021, the North American market saw strong demand from both domestic and foreign markets. Due to the winter storm, scarcity of the feedstock ethylene was observed. As a result of this scarcity, numerous factories were obliged to shut down production and increase regional offerings. Prices increased to a two-year high during this period. In March, the price of film grade FOB Texas surpassed 1800 USD/MT.
The pandemic's recovery boosted the market for North American resin makers in the second quarter. Demand remained robust enough to support LDPE prices, while also satisfying existing inquiries. ExxonMobil, Equistar, and Chevron Phillips hiked their pricing by 110 USD/MT in May to boost profits in the face of higher demand and rising upstream and manufacturing costs. As a result, an effective increase in pricing was noted throughout Q2 2021, with prices hovering at 1955 USD/MT for film grade in the United States of America by the end of June 2021.
During the third quarter of 2021, domestic polymer supplies increased dramatically, resulting in a small drop in the pricing in North America. Demand from downstream sectors remained robust in Q3, as industry players noted that consumer demand for the product has increased. Demand-wise, the construction and packaging sectors absorbed good quantities during the quarter. The supply of LDPE improved in the last weeks of the third quarter. LDPE Film Grade was last evaluated at a price of 1850 USD/MT.
After a year of price rise, the Brazilian plastics sector saw the first symptoms of demand faltering. Some resin buyers anticipated Braskem to announce April price increases, after February price increases of 230 USD/MT for PE and 320 USD/MT for all PE grades in March. Local customers feared that they may have to seek imported material if PE prices continued to surge in April. Imports, on the other hand, were difficult to reach due to a sharp depreciation of the local currency and scarcity of PE in the US.
For the Year 2020
As packaging and pipe demand climbed, reaching a seasonal peak in September and October, the market continued to improve, with revenues exceeding pre-lockdown levels. Several turnarounds in North Asia and the Middle East, on the other hand, maintained the market under supply-side pressure. The market improved significantly in the third quarter, owing to robust demand from downstream industries, as customers who had previously refrained from acquiring cargoes due to demand interruptions caused by coronavirus re-entered the market. Prices in East Asia were assessed at 1380 USD/MT CFR levels, while those in South-East Asia were assessed at 1400 USD/MT CFR levels, a week on week increase of 160 USD/MT. In India, LDPE prices were trading at 1270 USD/MT CFR, a significant increase of 100 USD/MT over the previous week. In Bangladesh, prices were evaluated at 1380 USD/MT CFR, a huge 170 USD/MT rise week on week.
In India's local markets, price patterns remained optimistic, owing to limited regional product supply, bullish demand trends, and a sharp increase in import offers from foreign suppliers. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) increased the price of LDPE Extrusion Coating by 6 INR/kg basic, while all other grades were increased by 5 INR/kg basic, effective December 1, 2020. LDPE prices in Sri Lanka were estimated at USD 1350/mt CFR, up USD 130/mt from the previous week. In Pakistan, prices were evaluated at USD 1380/mt, a USD 150/mt increase week on week.
Since March 2020, demand for LDPE and LLDPE bottles, stand-up pouches, and other dispensing forms for liquid soaps, sanitizers, and disinfectants increased significantly. Additionally, the ongoing epidemic raised demand for top handle and side handle containers for chemical storage, such as sodium hypochlorite, a primary disinfectant. While the economic consequences were felt across the EU, they were perceived differently by different areas and demographic groups. Europe's LDPE and LLDPE market was worth $10.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $16.8 billion by 2027.
The region's export potential was harmed by the material's scarcity. Numerous unexpected turnaround events throughout the US Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Laura resulted in a supply constraint during a period of soaring demand. The demand forecast remained favorable, with a strong rebound predicted in the electronics sector, followed by further growth in packaging demand as consumers became more receptive to home delivery of food as a result of their changed lifestyles following the coronavirus.
Low-density polyethylene climbed 29.3% since January, when it reached its 2020 low. LDPE price were 1190 USD/MT on September 30th, the highest price since October 2018. Braskem stated that in light of price hikes, prices increased by 75 USD/MT in July.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene). Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline. Procurement Resource provides XYZ prices for several countries.
Procurement Resource provides prices of LDPE for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
LDPE is a well-known thermoplastic that is produced from the monomer ethylene. LDPE is not reactive at room temperatures, except by potent oxidizing agents. LDPE can withstand temperatures of 80 °C continuously or about 90 °C or about 194 °F for a short span of time. LDPE is generally used as packaging.
Chemical Formula of LDPE:
LDPE is produced by the method of the polymerisation of ethylene in a tubular reactor. This method takes place at a high temperature. After ethylene is cooled, compressed and transformed into a polyethylene, it is mixed with additives to obtain the product in a molten form. The obtained product is cooled and cut into pellets to finally produce LDPE.
Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.
The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).