Bullish price environment continues in Egypt’s PP, PE markets
Initial offers from Saudi major draws muted response
Egypt’s polyolefin markets were startled by a major Saudi supplier’s April price announcement last week. Although increases for PE grades were more or less in line with the bullish expectations, record-high PP prices at $2750/ton CIF for raffia and inj. met with a lukewarm response.
Saudi PP faces challenge from competitive Asian prices
Offers from two Middle Eastern suppliers were within a range of $2100-2200/ton CIF for PPH raffia and inj. while competitive prices for irregular origins started to emerge in the market late last week. With Taiwanese PPH raffia and inj. at $1800/ton ($1890/ton with 5% customs duty) and Vietnamese PPH raffia at $1900/ton ($1995/ton with 5% customs duty), the Saudi major’s levels were considered to be outliers among other available levels.
Import PE prices extend gains into 10th straight month
The Saudi major’s PE prices, as mentioned above, were in line with the previous expectations and marked the 10th consecutive month of firm pricing. Higher by around $150-250/ton from their previously available levels in March, the major’s prices were reported at $2050/ton for LDPE film, and $1750/ton for both LLDPE and HDPE film, CIF Egypt, 90 days.
These levels represented the upper end of the overall price range while lower prices were reported at $1650/ton for both LLDPE and HDPE film, and $1950-1970/ton for LDPE film, CIF Egypt, 90 days. However, players noted that these levels too were higher by around $150-250/ton from last month.
Supply supports sellers but demand continues to wane
Supply hurdles have remained as one of the key price drivers this month. Several traders have been sold out their limited allocations, particularly for PP grades. Global prices have also been cited as another factor driving the prices higher.
Several players reported that rapidly escalating pricing has resulted in some resistance as consecutive increases have greatly compressed buyers’ margins. “End-product demand remains subdued. It is likely to wane even further, with just a few days until Ramadan,” a converter said.
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