Producers’ half-hearted attempts to, alternatively, stave off margin erosion or make margin gains were not crowned with success in February, particularly as they lacked cost increases as an argument. They were only able to lift a few low-lying contract prices, but this did not affect the PIE range.
Converters bought only what they could not do without, and otherwise drew down inventories, putting a considerable damper on order activity. The few minor supply limitations were balanced by slack demand.
In an attempt to expand margins again, producers will have tried to hold prices steady in March, despite the cheaper propylene reference. The forecast increase in demand and production requirements for this long working month should help their cause. Planned maintenance turnarounds in Western Europe could be balanced by Russian imports, at least for standard grades. For other products, buyers could see supply bottlenecks here and there.