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China’s PP, PE markets defy global firming

  • 24/02/2017 (04:04)
China’s PP and PE markets have been looking for direction since early February after the return of players from Chinese New Year holidays. Although there was a relative firming for most products, it was not as strong as it was expected. The weak state of demand and rising inventories inside China weakened the firming trend recently for all products.

The first sign of weakness came from LDPE in early February right after the holidays while HDPE and LLDPE prices were firm at that time. LDPE prices were considered inflated both in the local and import market and therefore, the sharpest decrease has been witnessed on this product as ChemOrbis Price Index reveals a decrease of around $150/ton on average local prices when compared to late January.

By mid February, LLDPE and HDPE prices followed suit and softened in the local market while import offers stabilized. The softening has become more evident this week with import offers easing down and local offers posting further declines.

The PP market has shown a relatively stronger stance than the PE market in the same timeframe. Local prices first weakened in mid-February. The decreases seen since then in the local market have also been modest. The import market, in the meantime, has edged down for the first time this week after weeks of firmer prices.

Although the trend is upwards in many global markets on the heels of tight supplies and higher costs, China appears to be defying this trend as the pressure from high stocks in the domestic market and falling futures prices have gained more prominence in setting the tone of the market for now.
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