The Week in Chemistry: US PE producers seek January, February contract hikes after losses in December, PP seen stable for January, Asia ethylene selling sentiment improves on tighter supply; explosion reported at Westlake plant in Louisiana injures six

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , January 28, 2022 () –

US Resins

US December PE contracts were confirmed at a decrease of US$0.05-$0.07/lb, bringing Q4 2021 decreases to up to $0.17/lb.

PP trading for the first two weeks of 2022 remained solid after a strong end of 2021. Pricing for prime PP grades remained below $1.00/lb.

December PP contracts-- finalized early in January—decreased $0.14/lb-$0.15/lb from November contracts.

Still, resin suppliers continue to face supply chain and distribution hurdles as they try to offload inventories. Petrochemical and resin players have been particularly hard-hit by truck driver shortages—leading to freight surcharges by petrochemical producers.

For January and February contracts, PE producers are pushing for ain increase of $0.04/lb. The increase is seen as unlikely to go through in January.

January PP contracts are expected to settle at a rollover or modest increase.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


Asia Ethylene

Asia’s ethylene selling sentiment improved on Jan. 25 as production cuts send pricing discussions higher.

Northeast Asia-based traders note that a number of operating cuts began in December 2021, resulting in a tighter supply pool.

Prices for spot ethylene were assessed at US$980/tonne CFR Northeast Asia and $995/tonne CFR Southeast Asia on January 25, according to Platts data.

Meanwhile, a prolonged period of high naphtha prices could make propane attractive as an alternative feedstock. Propane typically becomes viable as a feedstock for steam cracking when its price dips to 90% that of naphtha or lower.

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


Other Events

This week, an explosion was reported on the morning of Jan. 26 at Westlake Chemical's plant in Westlake, Louisiana. Investigationsl of the event will likely take several weeks.

Six people were reported injured but none of the injuries were life-threatening, according to a company spokesperson.

Law enforcement said the explosion occurred near the site's ethylene dichloride storage tanks.

Click here to view Industry Intelligence Inc.'s previous reporting of this story.


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