The Week in Chemistry: US PE spot prices hold generally flat for week ended Oct. 7, while PP lost US$0.02-US$0.03/lb; North America chemical rail traffic hits 42,061 carloads for week ended Oct. 8, US ethylene exports total 66,524 tonnes in August

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , October 14, 2022 () –


US Resins

US benchmark PE pricing for the first week of October held flat for the sixth week running.

However, prime PE offers increased by about US$0.01-$0.02/lb. LDPE asking prices increased further, up $0.02-$0.03/lb in domestic and Houston export markets.

PE producers are continuing their long-awaited efforts to offload excess inventory, and as a result are operating production sites at lower rates.

Producers are also seeking to offload material through export markets, but have encountered similar supply and demand fundamentals in Europe and Asia.

While producers push for contract increases of $0.05-$0.07/lb in October, an increase is unlikely under current circumstances.

Meanwhile, prices for prime PP during the first week of October fell by $0.02/lb for homopolymer and $0.03/lb for copolymer PP.

Polymer-grade propylene prices also continued downward amid subdued demand downstream.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


North America Chemical Railcars

North American chemical rail traffic continued to weaken during the week ended October 8, with volumes totaling 42,061 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

The four-week moving average hit 43,806 carloads, down 1.1% year-over-year.

In the US, weekly volumes stood at 31,045 carloads on a moving average basis, down 3.5% year-over-year.

Meanwhile, the Canadian moving average stood at 11,729 carloads, up 4.7% year-over-year.

Chemical railcar volumes in Mexico totaled 1,033 carloads on a four-week moving average, up 10.9% year-over-year.

The primary source of this information is Chemical Week.


US Ethylene Exports

US ethylene exports totaled 66,524 tonnes in August, a decrease of 33% from July, according to US Department of Commerce data.

Year-to-date through August, exports totaled 806,203 tonnes, up by a full 100% over the same period of 2021.

The greatest single destination in August was Belgium, importing 36,609 tonnes of ethylene. France followed, at 11,525 tonnes, and Taiwan next, 11,500 tonnes.

Ethylene prices for August out of Mont Belvieu, Texas, hit US$0.2613/lb for the 30-day average, according to pricing data from PetroChem Wire.

The primary source of this information is OPIS Petrochem Wire.

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