High-density polyethylene (PE) prices in Vietnam are under increased pressure from new supplies from the US.
US-origin HDPE cargoes were offered at $780-800/t cfr southeast Asia this week, significantly lower than those from other origins.
Middle East and Asian producers typically sell PE to Vietnam, which does not have existing production.
Vietnam is increasingly becoming an outlet for US HDPE because of the escalating trade war between the US and China.
US-based producers remain cautious about selling to the price-conscious Chinese market because of restrictive tariffs in place for certain grades of polymers.
If the trade impasse continues the US may impose additional tariffs on imports from China in December, and any tit-for-tat reaction from China will impact polymer sales.
The US is expected to produce more HDPE from next year, which means Vietnam may receive even more supplies.
Lyondellbasell's 500,000 t/yr Hyperzone HDPE unit at the La Porte complex in Texas is expected to begin commercial production soon.
Argus assessed prices for HDPE film at $810-830/t cfr Vietnam on 27 November.
By Muhamad Fadhil