Polyethylene (PE) sellers in the European market cut prices in December, but they are trying not to let the full amount of ethylene contract price fall to EUR110 per tonne for free sale, according to ICIS.

The difference between ethylene and PE prices has been declining for several months, and some spot PE prices remain below the contract price of ethylene even after it fell in December.

“It looks like the reduction is EUR80 per ton and not more,” said one of the buyers. “Obviously, we are aiming to get a larger reduction.”

Some manufacturers immediately informed buyers about price reductions for some PE grades at EUR70 per ton, while for others, the decline was EUR80 per ton, but not in all cases.

It is expected that the negotiations on the December contract prices will end rather early this month, most likely in most cases they will be completed by the end of this week.

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Review, in Russia, consumer activity in the PE market is low, processors are in no hurry to replenish their inventories. Moreover, a number of positions of polyethylene on the market continued to decline in prices due to oversupply. The largest decline in prices was noted in the LDPE segment; attempts by individual manufacturers to balance the domestic market through exports have not yet yielded results. In the HDPE segment, prices for film and blown HDPE continued to decline.