The Week in Chemistry: US spot PE rises US$0.01/lb for week of Jan. 24, PP prime resin pricing steady, India methanol up US$4/tonne day-on-day to US$405/tonne Jan. 28; Shell solidifies place in polyolefins market with planned petrochemical start in 2022

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LOS ANGELES , February 4, 2022 () –

US Resins

Spot prices for most PE grades in the US increased by US$0.01/lb in the week of Jan. 24 amid an active market. Still, even for grades with more limited supply such as LDPE and LLDPE, prices stayed level.

PE contracts for January are not yet finalized, but producers have announced intentions for $0.04/lb increases in February. Some are pushing for greater increases, including a $0.05/lb hike for HDPE and LDPE, and a $0.07/lb increase on LLDPE.

PP trading was also above average during the week, keeping prime resin prices steady at about $0.02/lb higher than mid-January levels.

January PP contracts are mostly seen at a rollover from the previous month. 

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


Asia Petrochemicals

Overall Asia methanol trading for the week of Jan. 31 was seen as weak amid closures related to the Lunar New Year.

Meanwhile, CFR India methanol was assessed at US$405/tonne on Jan. 28, up $4/tonne day-on-day as the country experiences solid demand for formaldehyde and pharmaceuticals.

Asia styrene monomer markets were also seen quiet for the week, owing to the Lunar New Year holidays. Uncertainty surrounding upstream pricing and downstream demand have also muted activity, as most producers are taking a wait-and-see approach.

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

New Capacities

Shell Chemicals expects to start its major petrochemical project in Pennsylvania by the end of 2022, CFO says in Q4 earnings call.

The startup was delayed after the company suspended work in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The site will include a 1.6-million-tonne/year cracker and three PE plants with a total capacity of 1.6 million tonnes/year. Two of the PE plants will manufacture LLDPE and one will manufacture HDPE.

The company’s CEO has previously commented that the site will establish its position “as a polyolefins player.” In the past, the company’s participation in the polyolefins space was limited to a number of joint ventures.

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


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