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LDPE Market May 2024: US and Asia Prices Surge Amid Supply Constraints
LDPE Market May 2024: US and Asia Prices Surge Amid Supply Constraints

LDPE Market May 2024: US and Asia Prices Surge Amid Supply Constraints

  • 05-Jun-2024 4:42 PM
  • Journalist: Xiang Hong

The global Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) market exhibited diverse trends over the past week. In the USA and Asia, LDPE prices increased due to supply limitations and strong demand, whereas European prices remained stable. Production costs fluctuated with changes in feedstock ethylene and crude oil prices. Geopolitical tensions disrupted key supply routes, further intensifying market pressures. Consequently, US LDPE Film grade FOB Texas prices rose by 2%, Chinese LDPE Adhesive Film grade CFR Shanghai increased by 1%, while European LDPE prices stayed the same during the last week of May 2024.

This week in Europe, the LDPE market remained steady, with prices for Film grade FD Hamburg (Germany) holding at USD 1274/MT as May business wrapped up. Suppliers are now turning their attention to June, anticipating softer prices. A 3% decline in ethylene feedstock prices has led spot market sellers to speculate that PE prices might decrease further due to weak market fundamentals. Although converters observed a slight uptick in demand compared to April, overall demand from the downstream construction, automotive, and packaging sectors remains weak. Market players expect the LDPE market to stay subdued without significant changes in the near term.

Furthermore,  the Asian LDPE market predominantly experienced an upward trend in prices this week due to supply tightness and robust demand. This price movement was driven by ongoing turnarounds in the Middle East and Asia and increasing freight rates. In China, imported polyethylene (PE) markets saw prices rise after a stable period, with domestic prices continuing to climb. Factors such as favorable macroeconomic conditions, increased costs, and soaring freight rates particularly after the Red Sea attack, which disrupted shipping and raised costs for US and Middle Eastern cargoes contributed to the increase in LDPE prices. Consequently, some Chinese buyers are shifting to regional sources. Additionally, government measures to revive the property sector have improved market sentiment, boosting futures prices and spot offers, although overall demand remains subdued due to the off-season.

In the US, the LDPE market experienced a price surge as purchasing sentiment improved throughout the week. The market was active, with a steady stream of buyer inquiries leading to smooth transactions between buyers and sellers. However, resellers and exporters continued to face material shortages as producers prioritized direct sales both domestically and internationally. Thin Middle-East market inventories triggered a rush for spot packaged material to sustain processors until railcar deliveries arrived. Additionally, significant buying activity occurred ahead of the upcoming hurricane season starting June 1st. Rising Ethylene feedstock prices also added cost pressures, contributing to the overall price increase for LDPE this week in the US.

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