The Week in Chemistry: US spot PE, PP gained US$0.02/lb through April, Enterprise plans to double ethylene export capacity by 2025 amid robust demand for US-made, price-advantaged ethylene; EU ban on 'toxic' chemicals could affect up to 12,000 substances

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LOS ANGELES , May 6, 2022 () –


US Resins 

US PE and PP spot prices held steady at the end of April, holding the US$0.02/lb gains seen earlier in the month.

In the week of April 25, a PP additives producer declared force majeure, marking the third consecutive week that the resins market has experienced such supply limitations.

Nevertheless, market indexes are predicting polymer contracts to roll flat in April, despite producers’ calls for a price increase of $0.06/lb to $0.07/lb. Market sources have suggested that a middle ground could be reached, with increases of $0.02/lb to $0.03/lb.

PE trading during the week was strong due to new supply constraints on the horizon, including a force majeure in Louisiana and a production issue from a producer in Mexico.

PP trading ran slightly below average amid scarce availability of prime material. As a result, demand for off-grade PP continued to climb, sending prices upward.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.

Ethylene Trading

Enterprise Products Partners announced during a Q1 earnings call that it plans to increase ethylene export capacity at its 1 million-tonne/year export terminal. 

The plan calls for a 50% increase in capacity by 2023, and doubling of capacity by 2025, in addition to increased thane export capacity.

The company has experienced challenges related to transport backlogs, which has led to reduced operating rates at some of its ethylene crackers, according to CEO Jim Teague.

The CEO noted that the US is currently the world’s most price-advantaged ethylene market due to its use of ethane feedstock. Ethane has not experienced the same price increases as crude-based naphtha, which was impacted by the geopolitical situation in Russia.

As such, US-based ethylene producers and international buyers are eager for more shipments, Teague says.

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

EU Chemical Safety

The European Union has introduced a major ban on a range of chemicals in an effort to protect the environment and human health, according to the “restrictions roadmap” published on May 2. 

The plan could affect up to 12,000 substances, according to industry groups.

New rules will target substances that have been linked to cancers, hormone disruption, obesity, diabetes and other conditions. These substances include all flame retardants, bisphenols, PVC and PFAS. 

Because of the pervasiveness of the chemicals in everyday items, the plan could have implications for food packaging, diapers, cosmetics, paints, cleaning products, adhesives, pesticides and other end uses

The European Chemicals Agency opted to categorize hazardous substances in groups, rather than dealing with individual chemicals, to prevent chemical firms producing ‘sister’ chemicals that are similar in composition and could have unknown health impacts.

The primary source of this information is The Guardian.


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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

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