The Week in Chemistry: US PE contracts end 2021 up US$0.13-US$0.15/lb over end 2020, PP contracts up US$0.15/lb; US caustic soda supply tight in Q1 against strong demand, Asia butadiene dips to US$555/tonne CFR China amid rising production

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , January 7, 2022 () –

US Resins

US PE spot resin prices ended 2021 higher than the same period of 2020 by a margin of US$0.15-US$0.24/lb.

Meanwhile, contracts will be up $0.26-$0.28/lb if December confirms a decrease of $0.05-$0.07/lb.

PP spot activity improved near the end of 2021 as resellers offloaded end-of-year inventory, contributing to discounted prices and bearish sentiment. Regardless, PP pricing at the end of 2021 surpassed the same period of 2020 by $0.13-$0.15/lb.

December PP contracts could decline by $0.15/lb in December, including the SU$0.10/lb decrease in polymer-grade propylene contract. Still, PP contracts at the start of 2022 are about $0.15/lb higher than at the start of 2021.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


US Chlor-Alkali

US caustic soda in Q1 2022 will see tight supply against strong demand, as the quarter sees numerous planned production turnarounds.

Meanwhile, chlor-alkali output in the US was interrupted twice in 2021 by February’s deep freeze and Hurricane Ida in August. As a result, sources say inventories are still depleted in the face of strong demand for chlorine and caustic soda.

As of Jan. 4, Olin’s force majeure was still in effect at its 550,000-tonne/year caustic soda plant in McIntosh, Alabama.

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


China Butadiene

Asian butadiene prices hit US$555/tonne CFR China on Dec. 30, down $35/tonne day-on-day. The prices are at their lowest since August 2020 as China boosts its production.

China’s butadiene production for December is estimated at about 340,000 tonnes and could rise further in January.

China’s domestic butadiene prices also decreased, landing at $558/tonne.

As a result of China’s bearish market, Asian suppliers are looking to export material outside Asia, including to the US.

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


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