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Africa polymers: October offers higher amid reduced availability

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 13/10/2020 (09:08)
In Africa, regional markets have seen a continued firming in prices, largely as a result of reduced allocations from import sellers. Although views on demand varied from region to region, market dynamics have been little changed across much of the continent.

Nigerian markets grapple with currency challenges

-Saudi LDPE film at highest since Oct 2018
-Asian sellers allocate limited PP volumes
In Western Africa, Nigerian markets saw increases of $20-40/ton for Saudi HDPE film and LLDPE C4 film materials while LDPE film offers soared by $120/ton over September. According to ChemOrbis Price Index, new October levels indicate the highest since October 2018.

Tightening supplies also brought increases for Saudi and Korean PP grades, which were broadly higher by $10-30/ton from last month. “Our regular Indian suppliers could not allocate any quantity this month,” a player said.

Players reported that economic clouds continued to hang around the largest market in West Africa. The ongoing currency challenges, as well as new regulations regarding the import trading, remained as key factors affecting the markets.

Demand not yet ready to support recent hikes in Kenya

-Indian supplier cancels orders
-LDPE film surges nearly 15%
Pressured by tight supplies from the Middle East, markets saw increases ranging from $20/ton to $50/ton for HDPE film and LLDPE C4 film. LDPE film offers surged by around $130-140/ton over September while PPH raffia and inj. offers jumped by $30/ton.

“Our regular Indian supplier cancelled some of our previous orders,” a player said, adding that the availability turned into a bigger issue than the increased offers. Market players also agreed that end-product demand was not sufficient yet to absorb all new hikes.

Sizeable increases for Oct in northern Africa

-PE hikes of up to $100/ton sought in Algeria
-€30/ton m-o-m jump in Morocco PP market
The amount of increases for PE grades varied, depending on the availability. In Algeria, HDPE film and LLDPE C4 film increased by $20-50/ton whereas LDPE film offers surged by $100/ton over September. A likewise trend was seen in Morocco, where PE offers increased by €40-90/ton from last month. The availability for LDPE film grades was tighter than other PE grades.

PP offers in Algeria were higher by around $20-30/ton while Moroccan players saw increases of around €30/ton over last month. Supplies were largely in balance with demand in both reference markets.

Demand is less than last month despite the easing of pandemic restrictions,” a trader in Morocco complained. An Algerian trader also affirmed weak demand conditions, saying that the increases were supply-driven.

Demand views optimist in South Africa

-Hikes range from $10/ton to $100/ton
-LLDPE C4 film supply more comfortable
A relatively comfortable availability for LLDPE C4 film resulted in modest increases of $10-20/ton over September in South Africa. HDPE film prices saw larger increases of $50-60/ton while LDPE film offers rocketed by $100/ton from last month.

A trader said that demand was better in October, largely due to the beginning of summertime in the Southern Hemisphere.

Reduced availability for LDPE film grades boosted levels to their highest in more than a year in northern and eastern Africa. In Nigeria and South Africa, the latest levels were the highest in nearly two years.

PP prices began to tack on gains by the second quarter in African markets. New October offers brought the latest levels to their highest in nearly seven months.

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