The Week in Chemistry: US PE contracts for March up US$0.04/lb, PP likely to rise US$0.10/lb, European rPET pricing holds €620/tonne premium over virgin PET; South Korea naphtha cracker operators poised to halt imports of petrochemicals from Russia

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , April 8, 2022 () –


US Resins

US spot PE prices for the week ended April 1 held firm for the fourth week running, having already increased in anticipation of March’s US$0.04/lb contract price increase. Another increase of $0.06/lb is being pushed for April contracts.

Prices received additional support from the fact that producers have been tightly stocking supply rather than releasing material to market– despite the fact that they have kept operating rates high.

Meanwhile, PP production during the week was impacted by two force majeure declarations in Louisiana and California.

Nevertheless, trading was active amid solid demand and tight supply, supporting spot prices rising by a couple of cents.

March PP contracts are expected to finalize with an increase of $0.10/lb with another $0.04/lb contract hike proposed for April.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


South Korea Petrochemicals

Naphtha cracker operators in South Korea are preparing to halt imports of petrochemicals from Russia, sources say.

Operators plan not to renew contracts in Russia, instead seeking alternate sources such as India or the US.

According to sources, companies are concerned that Western sanctions on Russia have created multiple points for potential failure in the import and export processes.

The primary source of this information is MRC.

European Plastics

Europe’s policies for the plastics industry are on course to bring recycling rates to 30% by 2030, compared to the current rate of 14%, according to a report commissioned by Plastics Europe.

Currently, EU policy includes a tax of €800/tonne on non-recycled plastics, which began in January 2022.

If the industry succeeds in the 2030 targets, it will reduce plastic waste to landfill or incinerators by 4.7 million tonnes.

Nevertheless, PET recycling fell short in 2020 at 2.23 million tonnes, compared to market size of 3.30 million tonnes. 

In order to meet future requirements for recycled content in plastic packaging, the market would require a PET recycling capacity of 3.17 million tonnes, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights analysis.

The shortfall has resulted in significant changes to the pricing of recycled material, which was once considered a lower-cost alternative to virgin plastics. Now, recycled food-grade recycled PET pellets in Northwest Europe hold a premium of €620/tonne over virgin PET.

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


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