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HDPE
HDPE Prices | Current and Forecast
HDPE
HDPE
HDPE
(C2H4)n

About HDPE. HDPE (a.k.a. High Density Polyethylene) is one of the three main types of polyethylene, figuring among the most used polymers worldwide. It is the most widely used polyethylene resin. HDPE may be either ethylene homopolymer or a copolymer of ethylene and alpha-olefins (1-hexene, 1-butene). Polyethylene is considered to be high density when having density greater than 0.94 g/cm³. Despite having density only marginally higher than that of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), HDPE presents larger strength-to-density ratio, due to its little branching and consequent stronger intermolecular forces. The high demand for polyethylene is in large part due to a combination of the availability of ethylene raw material, its relatively low cost and a wide variety of applications.

HDPE may be either ethylene homopolymer or a copolymer of ethylene and alpha-olefins, and is manufactured on commercial scale via low-pressure polymerization processes using mainly Ziegler-Natta or chromium-based catalysts. The main technologies suitable for its production include slurry, solution, and gas phase processes. The most common comonomers used commercially are 1-hexene and 1-butene. The physical and mechanical properties of final HDPE depend on its density, type, molecular weight (MW), and molecular weight distribution (MWD), characteristics controlled by the catalyst employed and reaction conditions.

HDPE Handling. HDPE may react with strong oxidizing agents and should not be stored near such materials. The bags must be stored at room temperature (preferably below 50 °C), in a well ventilated position and under dry conditions. HDPE can also be stored and/or transported in car silos, containers, or large cartons to avoid contamination, heat, and direct sunlight.

HDPE Production. HDPE Homopolymer production consists in the polymerization of ethylene without any other alpha-olefins, in such a way that different HDPE manufacturing routes are related to different sources of ethylene. In this context, typical HDPE production routes are based on ethylene manufacturing (via steam cracking of paraffinic hydrocarbons). Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of HDPE are listed below.

  • Ethylene + alpha-olefins (solution polymerization process),
  • Ethylene (Ziegler slurry process),
  • Ethylene (gas-phase polymerization)

HDPE Uses.The primary commercial forms of HDPE are injection molding, blow molding, and film. HDPE Uses.Blow molding grade demands low viscosity at high shear and high zero-shear viscosity to prevent sagging in the mold. Resins with broader molecular weight distributions, particularly with higher molecular weight, are preferred, and chromium catalysts are well-suited. HDPE Uses.The injection molding grade has a narrow molecular weight distribution to prevent frozen orientations, minimizing warping and fragility. Ziegler catalysts are often used to achieve this distribution. HDPE Uses.The blown-film grade often uses chromium-based or bimodal resins from Ziegler catalysts. Metallocene resins are also employed for high-clarity HDPE films. Typically, high-molecular-weight HDPE is employed in such applications (HMW film), although there are polymers with higher MW (e.g., UHMWPE ultrahigh MW Polyethylene).

Blow molding is the predominant application of HDPE, utilized for mass-producing items. It is widely applied in producing bottles for various industries, including food packaging, detergents, oil, household materials, industrial drums, fuel tanks, and toys. Injection-molding resins have lower average molecular weights, falling within the 3–80 melt index range. Various products, including cups, toys, and containers, are made with injection-molded HDPE. HDPE films, ranging from 0.007 to 0.125 mm thick, are versatile and used for various purposes, including food packaging, grocery bags, merchant bags, and drum liners.

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Data Type: chem-pricing
Prices

HDPE Prices | Current and Forecast

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Monitor monthly HDPE price assessments covering 6 locations: United States, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, China and Middle East. Also check HDPE price history since 2007 and forecasts.

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Data Legend. The chart above shows HDPE price assessments in USA Dollar per metric ton (USD/mt) in 6 locations, as follows:

  • HDPE (Blow molding), US (United States): HDPE (blow molding grade), export spot price, fob, US Gulf
  • HDPE (HMW film), US (United States): HDPE (high molecular weight film grade), domestic contract price, dpu, US Gulf
  • HDPE (Blow molding), EUR (Europe): HDPE (blow molding grade), domestic spot price, ddp, Northwest Europe
  • HDPE (Film), EUR (Europe): HDPE (film grade), domestic spot price, ddp, Northwest Europe
  • HDPE (Injection), EUR (Europe): HDPE (injection molding grade), domestic spot price, ddp, Northwest Europe
  • HDPE, SAM (South America): HDPE, import transaction price, cif, Brazil
  • HDPE, SEA (Southeast Asia): HDPE, import transaction price, cif, India
  • HDPE (Yarn), CN (China): HDPE (yarn grade), domestic spot price, exw, China
  • HDPE (Yarn), MDE (Middle East): HDPE (yarn grade), export spot price (formula), fob, Saudi Arabia

Data Use. HDPE prices are provided as an annual subscription where subscribers have access to reliable pricing data of 225 commodities worldwide. To better understand data provided by Intratec Primary Commodity Prices, check the following documents: Price Assessment Basis , Commodities Specifications , Methodology , User Guide , and Glossary .

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HDPE Price Outlook. The price of HDPE (Blow molding, United States) decreased during April 2019 to 1,120 USD per metric ton, which represents a slight decline of 0.9% compared to the previous month’s value. On a year-over-year basis, the prices of HDPE (Blow molding, United States) decreased significantly by 23%. Meanwhile, the average price of HDPE (Yarn, China) amounted to 1,390 USD per metric ton, from 1,810 USD per metric ton one year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, the price of HDPE (Yarn, China) is 1% lower than the price one month before.

The price of HDPE (Southeast Asia) declined slightly throughout April 2019, reaching 1,120 USD per metric ton.  The price is 2% lower than the average price in the previous month and 19% lower than the average price one year before. In contrast, the prices of HDPE (Yarn, Middle East) increased modestly during April 2019, reaching 1,110 USD per metric ton, which means a rise of 2% from the previous month’s price and a decline of 17% from the previous year’s price. 

The prices of HDPE (Blow molding, Europe) experienced a modest rise of 20 USD per metric ton from the prior month's price, to 1,300 USD per metric ton. Such price movement meant a rise of 2% on a monthly basis and a decrease of 4% on a yearly basis. On the other hand, in April 2019, the price of HDPE (South America) witnessed a rise of 10 USD per metric ton when compared against the previous month's price, to 1,140 USD per metric ton. The April 2019 price is 13% lower than the price one year before. 

About HDPE. HDPE (a.k.a. High Density Polyethylene) is one of the three main types of polyethylene, figuring among the most used polymers worldwide. It is the most widely used polyethylene resin. HDPE may be either ethylene homopolymer or a copolymer of ethylene and alpha-olefins (1-hexene, 1-butene). Polyethylene is considered to be high density when having density greater than 0.94 g/cm³. Despite having density only marginally higher than that of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), HDPE presents larger strength-to-density ratio, due to its little branching and consequent stronger intermolecular forces. The high demand for polyethylene is in large part due to a combination of the availability of ethylene raw material, its relatively low cost and a wide variety of applications.

HDPE may be either ethylene homopolymer or a copolymer of ethylene and alpha-olefins, and is manufactured on commercial scale via low-pressure polymerization processes using mainly Ziegler-Natta or chromium-based catalysts. The main technologies suitable for its production include slurry, solution, and gas phase processes. The most common comonomers used commercially are 1-hexene and 1-butene. The physical and mechanical properties of final HDPE depend on its density, type, molecular weight (MW), and molecular weight distribution (MWD), characteristics controlled by the catalyst employed and reaction conditions.

HDPE Handling. HDPE may react with strong oxidizing agents and should not be stored near such materials. The bags must be stored at room temperature (preferably below 50 °C), in a well ventilated position and under dry conditions. HDPE can also be stored and/or transported in car silos, containers, or large cartons to avoid contamination, heat, and direct sunlight.

HDPE Production. HDPE Homopolymer production consists in the polymerization of ethylene without any other alpha-olefins, in such a way that different HDPE manufacturing routes are related to different sources of ethylene. In this context, typical HDPE production routes are based on ethylene manufacturing (via steam cracking of paraffinic hydrocarbons). Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of HDPE are listed below.

  • Ethylene + alpha-olefins (solution polymerization process),
  • Ethylene (Ziegler slurry process),
  • Ethylene (gas-phase polymerization)

HDPE Uses.The primary commercial forms of HDPE are injection molding, blow molding, and film. HDPE Uses.Blow molding grade demands low viscosity at high shear and high zero-shear viscosity to prevent sagging in the mold. Resins with broader molecular weight distributions, particularly with higher molecular weight, are preferred, and chromium catalysts are well-suited. HDPE Uses.The injection molding grade has a narrow molecular weight distribution to prevent frozen orientations, minimizing warping and fragility. Ziegler catalysts are often used to achieve this distribution. HDPE Uses.The blown-film grade often uses chromium-based or bimodal resins from Ziegler catalysts. Metallocene resins are also employed for high-clarity HDPE films. Typically, high-molecular-weight HDPE is employed in such applications (HMW film), although there are polymers with higher MW (e.g., UHMWPE ultrahigh MW Polyethylene).

Blow molding is the predominant application of HDPE, utilized for mass-producing items. It is widely applied in producing bottles for various industries, including food packaging, detergents, oil, household materials, industrial drums, fuel tanks, and toys. Injection-molding resins have lower average molecular weights, falling within the 3–80 melt index range. Various products, including cups, toys, and containers, are made with injection-molded HDPE. HDPE films, ranging from 0.007 to 0.125 mm thick, are versatile and used for various purposes, including food packaging, grocery bags, merchant bags, and drum liners.

Intratec Methodology. Intratec Primary Commodity Prices are produced from a data-driven, mathematical approach, which starts with the extraction of data from various primary sources, including official trade records, futures market, statistics bureaus, governmental and international agencies. Such large volume of data is validated through advanced data processing techniques, and treated by means of statistical analysis for outliers removal. When faced with input gaps, data scientists and engineers employ mathematical models or machine learning techniques to estimate prices and ensure the completeness of the price assessments presented. (learn more ).

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