The Week in Chemistry: Solid US PE, PP trading in mid-June suggests buying activity shifted to later than its typical season; Asian naphtha faces plentiful supply against sluggish demand, Europe PET imports from China spark anti-dumping conflict

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2023 () –


US Resins

US resin trading accelerated near the end of the week of June 12, making the week’s completed volumes among the highest of 2023.

Prices for commodity PE and PP both held firm during the week, hinting at positive sentiment, according to the PlasticsExchange report.

Solid sales activity in May and June could indicate that the typical first-quarter buying activity shifted back by a couple of months.

PE contracts rolled flat for May, holding their US$0.06/lb in cumulative increases for 2023 despite the slackening of spot prices.

Improving PP demand helped prime prices hold their ground, but off-grade pricing was soft.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


Asia Naphtha 

The Asia naphtha market faces ample supply against lackluster demand from downstream olefins producers, according to an S&P Global Platts report.

Adding to challenges, the EU agreed on June 21 to issue new sanctions against Russian products; The decision could drive Russian naphtha cargoes to Asia instead, adding to plentiful supply and potentially weakening prices further.

Production output of naphtha in Asia is also expected to rise in during the third quarter as refiners wrap up their maintenance season, according to analysts.

Meanwhile, downstream ethylene producers are contending with disadvantageous pricing dynamics for naphtha. Instead, liquid petroleum gas emerged as a cost-competitive alternative feedstock.

The primary source of this information is S&P Global Platts.


Europe PET

Europe has increased its PET imports with cheaper material from China, leading industry groups to initiate anti-dumping proceedings over the imports that took place in 2022.

In addition to below-market prices, the imports could pose additional challenges with regard to meeting EU food contact criteria, says VP of Plastics Recyclers Europe.

Imports accounted for almost 30% of Europe’s total PET demand in 2022, rising from 23% in 2020.

The primary source of this information is MRC.

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