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Firming reinforced in Vietnam’s PE market on higher March offers

by Merve Sezgün -
  • 21/02/2019 (04:08)
According to ChemOrbis Price Index, Vietnam’s local and import PE markets have been tracking a mostly stable to slightly firming trend since they hit multi-year lows in the first half of January. The recent March offers revealed by a Saudi producer have strengthened this firming sentiment.

First hike attempts from Mid-East emerged before holiday

Some Middle Eastern suppliers approached the Vietnamese market with slight hikes of around $10/ton ahead of the Lunar Year holidays despite the fact that a few regional producers announced rollovers or slight decreases for February.

Defying the holiday lull, Middle Eastern sellers maintained their firm stance on their offers.

Initial March offers from Saudi Arabia up, contributing to firming

A distributor in Vietnam reported that a Saudi Arabian producer has revealed its March PE prices to the country with slight increases of $10/ton from February.

“Demand towards import PE has improved as buyers are more willing to make purchases now due to their concerns that prices might increase further,” the trader commented.

Locally-held PE prices follow imports higher

Following the recent hikes in the import market, offers for locally-held PE have also witnessed some weekly gains of around VND500,000-1,000,000/ton ($21-43/ton).

A bag manufacturer in Vietnam noted that he was offered slightly higher prices after he returned to his desk from the Tet holiday. “We are planning to secure some cargoes nowadays as prices are likely to see further gains in the near term. Still, we believe that sufficient supply levels will keep increase amounts in check,” the buyer opined.

Upstream support

In the upstream markets, spot ethylene prices on CFR Far East Asia basis currently stand at their 20-week high, according to the latest weekly data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard. Spot prices on CFR Southeast Asia basis are also hovering around their highest levels since early October.

Players agreed on the fact that strong costs have supported the sentiment across Southeast Asia’s PE markets.

Pressure from competitive US offers fades

Not only in Vietnam but also in some other regional countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines; the pressure from competitively-priced US cargoes has faded since offers below the $1000/ton CIF threshold have largely disappeared in line with some US suppliers’ recent hike attempts.

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