The ethylene reference price proved to be the main benchmark for many PE grades on the European market in July. Sometimes it was a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but the majority of price cuts hovered around the €50 ($58) per tonne mark. One radical exception was the group of LLDPE (ethylene) injection moulding grades, where a number of market bottlenecks even resulted in moderate increases.

Overall, however, supply tended to thin out as producers gained an ever-stronger grip on the control of volumes. At the same time, business was quite lively because a large number of buyers suspected that prices would bottom out soon and so decided to top up their stocks as much as possible.

And in this respect, they were not entirely wrong. The decline in costs has been brought to a halt by a rollover of the ethylene reference, the supply situation is tending to be tighter and demand is looking very strong for this time of year. All this means that prices of many grades could conceivably have risen again slightly in August.