US polyethylene spot export prices are expected to be lower in the week started Nov. 8 as market participants see producers easing pricing for November.
Short-term pricing will ease as market participants note more availability in the coming weeks and as prices give way. In general, trader sources are hearing a range of pricing for PE grades, including LDPE, HDPE film, HDPE injection, and LLDPE, as offers are being shared in the market. HDPE blowmolding is expected to remain extremely limited into the week, based on little to no availability, sources said. In domestic markets, contracts were flat after rolling over Oct. 28, based on demand slowing and suppliers trying to keep the market stable, one source said.
US export polyvinyl chloride prices were expected to remain in a range of $1,195-$1,200/mt FAS Houston the week of Nov. 9 as market participants expect supply availability to remain tight through the rest of 2020. December offers were expected to remain sharply limited, with force majeures on PVC still in effect from Formosa Plastics USA and Westlake Chemical. Upstream, chlor-alkali rates also were expected to remain reduced through the rest of the year as producers sought to keep caustic soda output in check amid soft demand. However, market sources expect buyers in domestic and export markets to push back on further price increases, which were seen reaching a tipping point.
The US methanol market is expected to be stable to stronger in the week started Nov. 8 on tight regional supply and resulting increased buying activity. A production facility in Geismar, Louisiana, has been heard to be in a period of continued planned maintenance, causing available regional spot supply to tighten and adding price support to prompt volumes as a result. MTBE prices are expected to be stable to weaker, with gasoline futures down lately on geopolitical factors as well as weaker demand.
Latin America polymers are expected to see stability or a small downtrend in the imports markets of Brazil and west coast of South America. The foreign exchange rate started the week most favorable to the Brazilian Real at 5.35/$1 on Nov. 9. New domestic prices were announced in the week ended Nov. 7, with no expectation of further increases during the week. Polypropylene prices are expected to be stable to slightly lower on the week following small decreases coming from Asia and the Middle East -- primary import destinations for Brazil and WCSA. Meantime, spot import polyethylene prices in the WCSA are expected to continue to be highly attached to the US movements on the week. The PVC market in Latin America is expecting to continue seeing higher prices as a reflection of higher Asian values -- linked to imports into Brazil -- while US prices, most attached to the WCSA, are expected to stay mostly flat on the week. Product is still unavailable in most of the markets on limited availability from the US for exports, which could continue to drive prices higher. In Mercosur, spot pricing is expected to be unchanged until the turnover of the month. Some distributors continued to report null product availability in the market. In Argentina, prices are expected be unchanged for the week, after the $90/mt hike the past week.
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