In Europe, demand for Polymer was subdued last month and expectations of a sharp price fall in December were high.

 European standard thermoplastic prices, apart from polypropylene, were on a downward trend as of November. Crude oil and naphtha costs have fallen sharply following a brief rally at the beginning of October

The November ethylene and propylene contract prices each settled €10/tonne lower while the styrene monomer reference price plunged €170/tonne. The key PET feedstock, Paraxylene, experienced a €77.5/tonne reduction in the November contract price, making for a combined cost reduction of €100/tonne over the last two months.

Polymer sellers initially sought to widen margins by calling for either a price rollover or a small price increase. However, the material was well supplied, and buyers were prepared to wait before entering the market. As a result, most standard thermoplastic prices ended up at a lower level by end November.

The polyethene sector saw LLDPE prices tumble by €15/tonne, LDPE prices moved down in line with ethylene costs, and HDPE prices fell between €5-15/tonne. Polypropylene homopolymer film and copolymer injection prices were mostly rolled over, while PP homopolymer injection material saw a price reduction to the tune of €10/tonne.

Polystyrene prices tumbled €135/tonne following a massive €170/tonne dive in the styrene monomer reference price. PVC base resin prices were either fixed at a rollover or fell €5/tonne, in line with the proportionate reduction in ethylene costs. Meanwhile, PET prices fell for the second consecutive month, down €70/tonne in November.

Generally, polymer supply was sufficient to meet demand without restriction. Transport in the region of Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) has been made difficult by low water levels in the Rhine river. Unplanned strikes and plant outages in France and Belgium were also felt and resulted in production problems

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