- François-Xavier Branthôme
Price inflation report confirms sharp increase
According to the figures collected and presented in a recent report issued by Mintec Ltd, strong global demand, attributed to economic stimulus packages and economic recovery amid depleted inventories, continue to support steel prices. In addition, China’s new regulations to tackle pollution continue to raise concerns over global supply. As a result, CME steel hot-rolled coil (HRC) and northern Europe steel HRC both reached record highs in April 2021, at USD 1,547/mT and EUR 955/mT, respectively. This represents surges of 190% and 103.6% compared to the same period last year.
Steel HRC in USD and Euro/mT
Mintec report also points that EU HDPE prices have been driven higher by tight supply and firm global demand. Producers’ stocks have been exhausted in Europe following robust demand, plant shutdowns and weaker imports. This caused the April average price of EU HDPE to rise to USD 1,828/mT, up 73% y-o-y and 12% m-o-m.
High-density polyethylene (EU) in Euro/mT
US LDPE mirrored the gains in the US HDPE market, supported by reduced production and strong global demand. Accordingly, the April average price of US LDPE was recorded at USD 2,734/mT, up 68% y-o-y and 6% m-o-m.
Low-density polyethylene (US) in USD/mT
According to the Mintec study, PE and PP markets also were significantly impacted due to substantial plant outages in Q3 2020 caused by hurricanes followed by severe winter storms during February 2021, which hit primary petrochemical plants on the Gulf Coast and caused essential plants to declare force majeure. Although plants have begun to reopen, supply remains insufficient to meet demand. The April 2021 average price of US PET was USD 1,477/mT, up 87% y-o-y and 18%m-o-m.
Polyethylene terephthalate (US) in USD/mT
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