Feedstocks moving in different directions create challenges for both buyers and sellers.

For polyolefin buyers, the further drop in feedstock prices will signal significant reductions in PP and PE pricing for July. Meanwhile, many European polyolefin producers are curbing output to achieve both a better balance of supply & demand and to address the poor economics of production. For many processors, thoughts are already turning towards the end of summer when there is a possibility that prices will once again be on the increase.

Converters of engineering polymers based on benzene feedstocks (PC, PA6 and PA66), along with buyers of styrenic polymers (ABS, GPPS, HIPS & SAN), will observe the strong hike in aromatics, including SM, with significant concern as producers will look to push increases through the supply chain. The situation on SM will also be affected by a current force majeure affecting European producers of propylene oxide, from which SM is produced as a by-product in a ratio of 2:1.

The underlying cause of the recent volatility is complex, but is in no small part related to a strong demand for transport fuels, which in the case of ‘aromatics’ is limiting supply and in the case of olefins is causing excess supply. This situation looks likely to persist whilst displaced Russian origin transport fuels are not substituted by products of alternative origin.

Monomer Price Movement
Change (Contract)
C2 (Ethylene)
C3 (Propylene)
SM (Styrene Monomer)
Brent Crude
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Mike Boswell
Managing Director – Plastribution Group

Oil Prices

No Data Found

Exchange Rates

No Data Found

UK Economic Data







Real GDP (Q on Q)

Q1 2022


UK Output

Manufacturing Index

Q1 2022



New Car Registrations (Y on Y)




Retail Sales (Y on Y)




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CPI (Y on Y)




RPI (Y on Y)



Interest Rates

Bank of England Base Rate




Pricing in July has continued on a downward trajectory, with monomers seeing substantial drops. However, supply & demand has been the main driver behind the significant reductions offered.

With downstream demand weak from struggling economies, buyers have enjoyed plenty of time and choice to make decisions, leading to producers and traders offering lower and lower pricing to secure the limited business available. Prices have fallen throughout the month as the supply & demand balance was further shaken.

Warehouses are full, supply from European production is unaffected and imports are starting to arrive from USA and the Middle East – a perfect storm to drive prices down.

Polypropylene has suffered bigger drops as end user demand is particularly weak in this area. Whilst some grades of PE, mainly HDPE blow moulding grades, have shown some resilience, no grade remains unaffected by the slump in demand.

Prices are likely to slip further in August, but a market bottom is expected relatively soon. If demand doesn’t improve sufficiently post summer, producers will start to restrict supply to bolster prices. The best many producers will hope for is a stop to the price reductions, increases are not expected in the immediate future.

Ian Chisnall
Product Manager – Polyolefins

Polyolefins Feedstocks
£/Metric Tonne by month

No Data Found



LDPE pricing dropped in July by approx. £100 / MT+ following the C2 monomer reduction of €100 / MT but falling further as supply was plentiful.

Market pricing was now around £1,450-£1,500 / MT but outliers outside this range were reported. Spot deals for large volume below £1,400 / MT were also reported but, in many cases, offers were not taken up as further reductions are anticipated.



LLDPE pricing also dropped by approx. £100 / MT+ as imports from USA and Middle East were widely available.

Prices were reported in the range of £1,300-1,400 / MT for C4. As with LDPE, spot deals for volume were reported below these levels.

C6 grades continue to command a premium but this has been eroded as hexene supply has improved. Typical levels were in the £1,475-£1,550 / MT range.

Metallocene prices came under significant pressure as demand has dropped and saw drops more than £200 / MT as sellers sought to stimulate demand. £1,800 / MT was reported for some Metallocene grades.

Further reductions in August are anticipated and where possible, buyers are holding off making purchases.



HDPE has dropped £100 / MT+ in July but with some variability by application.

Blow moulding and film grades held up slightly better than injection grades. A difference of around £50 / MT was reported with HD injection grades bottoming around £1,250 / MT and blow moulding / film grades at £1,300 / MT.

Supply from USA and Middle East is reportedly strong for the coming months and further price erosion is expected.



PP continued to see significant price reductions as demand was some way behind available supply, particularly on homopolymer.

C3 monomer dropped €120 / MT into July, but pricing for polypropylene fell further and homopolymer Injection grades were reported in the £1,250-£1,350 / MT range.

PP copolymer continued to be slightly stronger with prices in the range of £1,400-£1,500 / MT. Some specialist grades were reported above these prices.

With multiple offers from many sources and continued weak demand expected in August. Prices are expected to fall, but some are questioning just how much further PP pricing can go before production is reduced to get supply and demand back in balance.

Many producers hope that September will see demand return and some stability as European plants start up again from their shutdowns during the summer.


Other Polyolefins

EVA still has some restrictions in availability due to some force majeures in place and a limited supply of VAM.

Prices fell broadly in line with monomer by approx. €100 / MT. Supply is starting to return to normal and bigger price corrections may come soon to the higher priced end of the market.

Speciality PP is still restricted but also saw some slight softening on pricing in line with monomers.


Andrew Waterfield
Product Supervisor – Styrenics

Styrenics Feedstocks
£/Metric Tonne by month

No Data Found



June SM contract price settled at €16/T higher than May.  These increases were driven by spiraling energy costs and a hike in Benzene.

PS prices generally rolled over. Supply remained tight as producers attempted to avoid overproduction. Converters were often forced to choose between security of supply and record pricing.

SM jumped upwards by €155/T in July. While not being passed on in full, this is likely to further stifle PS demand as convertors look at other material options. This contraction in demand will cause producers to cut output to match requirements.



June Monomers showed a slight change (SM +€16/T, Butadiene +€10/T, ACN -€90/T)  but rising volumes of imports from Asia pushed ABS prices down by £50/T. Supply was normal, but demand fell.


July brings rising composite monomer costs of around €30-40/T (SM +€155/T, Butadiene Roll, ACN -€279/T), however poor ABS demand will make it very difficult to pass on any increase. 

Supply was normal with no major outages, but demand was restrained as a slowdown was seen across all sectors, fueled by energy cost worries and the threat of a recession.



As usual, PC/ABS price is following the trend of ABS.

Other Styrenics

SAN and specialities such as ASA and SMMA continue to follow the price trend of ABS.

Engineering Polymers

Pete Tillin
Product Manager – Engineering Polymers

Engineering Polymer Feedstocks
£/Metric Tonne by month

No Data Found



Varying price increases have been announced from €150-350 per metric tonne.

Raw materials, energy costs and transportation are still rising, however it could be difficult to push these through during the summer months as demand falls and there are already sufficient inventories to meet the lower sales levels.



A wide spread of price hikes announced to the market of between €200-400 per metric tonne.

Supply from Europe remains limited; however, we are starting to see increased imports into the UK. With lower demand during the summer period, it could halt talks of further price rises as processers only purchase what is absolutely necessary.



The picture for POM is unchanged with increasing prices. The supply situation also remains extremely restricted with allocation systems still in place and very long lead-times.



Benzene contracts saw another significant increase of €386 per metric tonne for July.

However, price announcements have varied from increases between €100-250, whilst others are rolling over pricing due to lack of demand in the market. Supply should be sufficient as we move into the quieter summer period.



Price increases announced to the market of around €200/tonne, and the supply of MMA is still noticeably short.



The situation remains unchanged. Continued shortages of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Butanediol (BDO) means significantly higher prices and extremely restricted supply.

Other Engineering Polymers

The situation for other engineering grades remains complex, difficult to predict and depends very much on the material type, but shortages and cost increases are still the norm for every polymer.

Contact Mike Boswell

Managing Director – Plastribution Group

Contact Ian Chisnall

Product Manager – Polyolefins

Contact Andrew Waterfield

Product Supervisor – Styrenics

Contact Sharron Jarvis

Product Supervisor – Engineering Polymers

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