Commodity Market Report

Polyethylene North America monthly market overview January 2020

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31 January 2020

Polyethylene North America monthly market overview January 2020

Report summary

With 1.87 million tons of capacity brought on-line in North America in 2019, production grew 6.6% from 2018. After the incident at Sasol’s LDPE unit in Lake Charles, LA, it is still unknown when operations will begin again. North American domestic demand was sluggish in 2019, with a 6.7% drop year-on-year from 2018. HDPE, LLDPE, and LDPE all saw reductions from their 2018 demand levels with an average of 6.7% down. However, December consumption showed signs of recovery that are expected to transition into the new year. US inventories in December hit a low for 2019 at 23 days of demand as producers looked to de-stock heading into 2020. Spot export prices showed signs of recovery in January, albeit short-lived due to extended Chinese New Year.

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