Import HDPE prices hit more-than-2-year high in Asia
Data from ChemOrbis Price Index also show that the premium import HDPE film prices carry above LLDPE film is recently at around $145-150/ton in China, nearing an all-time high. As for Southeast Asia, the premium import HDPE film prices carry above LLDPE film is also hovering around $85-95/ton for the past two weeks, indicating the biggest gap since late February 2012.
This widening gap between HDPE and other PE grades both in China and Southeast Asia is stemming from the divergent pricing policies of regional and overseas suppliers. They have been issuing their December PE offers to China and Southeast Asia since last week with further increases for HDPE while lowering their LLDPE and LDPE offers. Limited supplies remain as the main reason behind sellers’ firm stance for HDPE along with the contribution of high ethylene prices in Asia. Meanwhile, weak demand across the regional markets and the emergence of competitive offers particularly from India continue to pull the prices further down for LDPE and LLDPE.
In China, an agent of a major Saudi producer reported, “For the past two months, our supplier had no HDPE film production as they switched to HDPE pipe. Demand is relatively slower when compared to previous weeks as buyers find the prevailing levels too high. Meanwhile, LDPE and LLDPE see weaker demand than HDPE grades,” he commented.
In Southeast Asia, a source from a local producer in Indonesia said, “We don’t think PE prices can firm up further in the November-December period, except for HDPE owing to supply issues. The overall market activities are still slow as players are not interested in sourcing through the year-end. We will monitor the market to see if the preparations for Chinese New Year will revive demand.”
On the other hand, some players have started to voice their opinions about how long the ongoing firmness of the HDPE market will persist. They think that the current trend is likely to be replaced by a softening soon in line with a possible easing in HDPE supply issues.
A Chinese trader opined, “Weak demand amidst the approaching winter season and the emergence of competitive offers for other origins may reverse the sentiment for HDPE.” Another Chinese trader said, “We are cautious about the PE outlook as we think prices may undergo a correction given a possible recovery in HDPE supplies.”
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