PO tense situation in Europe


EU plastics converting companies (mainly SMEs) are facing serious difficulties since early 2015, due to limited availability of polymers. Since early March 2015, the EU polymer industry has declared new ‘force majeure’ Majeures on 66 occasions. This has exacerbated an already tense situation for the EU polyethylene and polypropylene markets and has driven polymer prices to levels not seen in the past decade. From March 2015 to May 2015, EU polymer prices increased by over 40 percent whilst oil prices remained at a record low. As a consequence of this situation, EU plastics converters submitted in 2015 45 requests for tariff suspensions and quotas in seven Member States.
The Polymers for Europe Alliance, initiated by the European Plastics Converters association (EuPC) in May 2015, brought this situation to the attention of the European Commission and the Economic Tariff Questions Group (ETQG), ahead of the July 2016 round of tariff suspension and quota requests. The Alliance emphasised the importance of these tariff suspension and quota requests for the future competiveness of the EU plastics converting industry. If EU plastics converters cannot get access to sufficient volumes of polymers, they will ultimately go out of business.

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More PET capacity for Europe

During 2013, the PET demand in Europe exceded capacity by 350,000 tons. According to GSI – Global Service International, the situation would be reversed from 2015 with the startup of new production capacities: 640 000 t/y in Europe and 1.64 million t/y outside Europe. Europe will remain as the main importer of PET (550 000 t in 2013 and forecast of 750 000 t in 2014) and India will be the leading exporter to Europe.
The new capacities will increase the global overcapacity, currently estimated at 6 million tons, which means the PET industry will have to deal with lower prices and with a new wave of "consolidation" in the industry. If confirmed, the low prices trend, will  reduce the price gap between virgin PET and recycled PET (rPET) and BioPet will lose competitiveness.

Borealis increases polyolefin prices

Borealis has announced that it will increase all polyethylene and polypropylene prices by EUR 100/tonne for January, 2012.
“This decision to increase prices reflects our assumptions on the economic development and it’s necessary for the implementation of our Value Creation through Innovation strategy,” said Gerd Löbbert, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins.