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EU PP market faces challenging outlook. European polypropylene (PP) prices experienced a slight increase in March, influenced by seasonal trends.

Suppliers managed to maintain prices in accordance with raw material costs due to reduced operating rates.

The outlook remains uncertain as the industry faces slow demand recovery, oversupply, and concerns regarding inflation, interest rates, and energy costs.

Demand in various market segments has yet to demonstrate a strong recovery.

For example, the automotive industry has shown slow progress, while the construction sector is experiencing a slump.

Uncertainty, inflation, high energy bills, and interest rates contribute to these industries’ underperformance.

The market is expected to remain well-supplied this year, as suppliers seek to balance the market and maintain prices by reducing operating rates.

The industry will likely experience minimal price changes for the remainder of the year, with no significant rebound anticipated.

M&A Puzzle

LyondellBasell acquires Mepol Group. The company announced its decision to acquire Mepol Group, bolstering circular economy initiatives.

The acquisition encompasses Mepol’s establishments in Poland and Italy, producing recycled and polymer compounds for diverse industries.

LyondellBasell’s executive, Torkel Rhenman, emphasized dedication to sustainable practices and improved products such as CirculenRecover.

Mepol’s CEO, Mirco Melato, embraced the partnership, noting common sustainability objectives and better capabilities to meet customer demands.

Completion of the transaction relies on regulatory consent and other standard closing prerequisites.

LyondellBasell persists in spearheading circular, eco-friendly solutions and broadening recycling infrastructure globally.

LyondellBasell is a multinational chemical company that produces plastics, including polypropylene (PP), chemicals, and refining products.

environmental social governance

LyondellBasell unveils sustainable growth strategy. LyondellBasell recently announced a new long-term strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, focusing on sustainable growth and appealing to ESG-minded investors.

The strategy encompasses three key elements: growing and upgrading the core business, building a profitable Circular & Low Carbon Solutions (CLCS) business, and enhancing performance and culture.

The company expects CLCS to generate at least $1 billion in incremental EBITDA by 2030. The company’s value enhancement program (VEP) aims to deliver at least $750 million of recurring annual EBITDA improvement by 2025.

LyondellBasell has already initiated actions aligning with this new strategy, including exiting the refining business and divesting its Australian polypropylene operations.

denand growth

Polypropylene (PP) prices surge in Europe by €70-90 per metric ton in February compared to January, according to GC Intelligence price assessments.

This increase was mainly driven by the €80/mt increase in the price of the raw material monomer, propylene.

The recovery in demand is fragile, and ongoing weakness in some sectors may limit any upside.

Nevertheless, the oversupply has eased somewhat, and buyers are finding it harder to source volumes.

The forecasts were adjusted higher compared to last month. This was mainly due to the surprise increase in prices this month and a slight improvement in market dynamics.

The rebound in demand from the lows in December which continued in February may have contributed to the reduction in supply.

This could support a rebound in prices if costs remain high or increase during the better seasonal demand of spring.

rising prices

Polypropylene (PP) prices rise in Europe, with early projections suggesting a hike of €80-100/mt in February versus January.

The driving factors behind this increase are the rising cost of raw materials, namely propylene.

An increase in demand from the lows recorded in December added further support.

Despite the current overall sluggish activity in the downstream sector, a lower production rate combined better demand should help to support the upward pressure.

Buyers have already reported that sourcing adequate volumes of polypropylene has become slightly more challenging.

Additionally, seasonal factors are also expected to contribute to the rise in prices. February and the rest of the quarter will most likely see a seasonal increase in demand.

In conclusion, the early indications of a price increase for polypropylene in Europe are the result of a combination of factors. These include rising raw material costs, increased demand, lower production rates, and seasonal factors.

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