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Lower crude, weak China dominate SEA’s PE market despite supply cuts

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 14/03/2017 (14:45)
Lower crude oil prices and the softening trend in China’s PE market stemming from high supplies in the country are currently putting downward pressure on the Southeast Asia’s import PE market despite the supply reductions in place since early February from the Middle East.

A source from a Middle Eastern producer commented, “Our customers in Southeast Asia are cautious about their purchases as they are closely monitoring the developments in the nearby Chinese market. Supply from the Middle East to Southeast Asia is quite limited given maintenances and we believe this may counterbalance the pressure from China and softer upstream. Therefore, we think offers for April shipments may witness drops of around $20-30/ton at most.”

A Vietnamese converter offering Saudi materials noted, “Demand for our end product is slow nowadays given the softening trend in China’s market. Plus, we haven’t received any new offers from the Middle East yet.”

A Chinese trader also stated that they are sidelined for now in order to follow the impacts of lower ethylene and crude oil prices on the market.

On March 10, crude oil prices on NYMEX settled below $50/barrel threshold for the first time since December and continued to post further decreases for the following three days to settle at $48.40/barrel on Monday.
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