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March PE prices take split paths in Africa, Mid-East

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 19/03/2019 (08:45)
In the Middle East, March PE offers from the regional suppliers emerged with rollovers to increases amid higher energy and upstream costs. However, rising costs have failed filter through the March prices in African PE markets, where prices remained stable or decreased from February.

Prices take cues from short supplies in Lebanon, Jordan

In Lebanon, a Middle Eastern producer announced that they would not be delivering LLDPE C4 film this month as they lacked sufficient inventory and increased its new LDPE and HDPE film offers by $20-35/ton compared to February.

Price hikes prevail in Mid-East

Meanwhile, a major Saudi producer announced increases of up to $60/ton for certain PE grades when compared to its latest levels.

The sentiment was also firm in Jordan, with the Saudi major revealing new PE offers with $20/ton increases from February. “Trading activity is improving, but lackluster end business demand is keeping the purchases tied to basic needs,” opined a manufacturer.

Local offers rollover in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Despite earlier forecasts of seeing some increases, the Saudi major’s March PE offers to the local market rolled over for the first time since January. Players stated that no major change in the supply and demand balance was expected in the short-term.

In the United Arab Emirates, March PE offers from a domestic producer were also unchanged for the third month in a row.

“Although market activities are better when compared to last month, they are still below our expectations. We expect to see further improvement from April onwards,” an Emirati trader stated .

North Africa sees large decreases from Mid-East

The March price ranges in Algeria decreased by up to $60/ton compared to the previous deal levels while players in remained cautious amid the deepening political unrest in the country.

A plastic end product trader in Tunisia reported receiving rollovers from the Saudi major and said, "We are expecting to conclude deals at lower levels as sellers seem willing to negotiate their prices. We also managed to achieve discounts of up to €70/ton in February.”

Meanwhile, a Moroccan distributor offering on behalf of the Saudi major stated that players were not interested in making fresh purchases due to slow end business. The distributor also noted that market players expect some price increases in April.

Egypt’s import PE market bucks the trend

Unlike other North African countries, Middle Eastern suppliers approached Egypt with rollovers to monthly increases of up to $60/ton. This was despite the fact that sluggish demand and ample supplies have weighed on the local market throughout March, resulting on price decreases.

Competitive US PE shows up in Kenya, further pressuring market

In Kenya, a manufacturer reported receiving March PE offers from Saudi suppliers with rollovers to up to $20/ton decreases as well as competitive offers from the US. The manufacturer stated that the players are now pushing for lower deals with Saudi suppliers due to aggressive US offers in the market.

ELEME keeps prices unchanged from Feb

Nigeria’s local producer, ELEME, kept its March PE offers unchanged from February due to comfortable inventory levels and slow market activities. Players cited the long-delayed presidential elections behind the dampened overall market activities.
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