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Mid-Eastern PP, PE markets extend gains into March amid squeezed supply

by Nada Samir -
by Esra Ersöz -
  • 07/03/2023 (09:23)
The price rally, which first sparked in the Saudi polyolefin markets in February after an 8 month- slump, has also been extended into March. Likewise, Saudi majors’ fresh March offers indicated monthly hikes in the neighboring Middle Eastern markets. Sentiment in the regional markets remained supported by tight supplies, caused by the ongoing shutdowns in the region.

Saudi markets’ uptrend maintained as expected in March

A major Saudi supplier’s new PE offers to their local market indicated increases of around SAR37-75/ton ($10-20/ton) as compared to last month. The major producer also hiked PP prices by around SAR338/ton ($90/ton).

On a related note, another local supplier revealed its new March offers with SAR75-188/ton ($20-50/ton) increases for PE and SAR188-263/ton ($50-70/ton) for PP. New offers were mostly in with the market expectations, which had been formed by restricted supplies amidst the maintenance season in the region.

Maintenance season underway

Two PP units of UAE’s Borouge remain shut since mid-January while Oman’s OQ just started the turnaround at its PP and PE units in late February. In the PE market, Saudi Polymers’ restart was delayed to an unknown date from late February. You can check the details of any production news and assess supply balance in ChemOrbis Production News Pro.

Emirati producer dissent import hikes

Middle Eastern producers had also opted for price hikes in the United Arab Emirates. A major Saudi producer’s new offers were largely higher by $20-50/ton as compared to February levels while offers from another regional supplier suggested a similar pricing policy for March. “The producer holds very limited allocations for March and they are unable to cover the market needs," commented a local source.

Meanwhile, offers from the country’s local PP producer, Borouge, were largely unchanged from their February levels. According to market sources, the producer has been attempting to raise their offers amid tight availability. However, discounts are achievable for firm bids amidst steadily performing demand.

East Med markets bullish despite weak activities

Players in the East Mediterranean region continued to receive higher import offers for PP and PE for March, followed the hikes that passed in February pricing.

In Jordan, new PE offers surfaced with $10-50/ton increases while PP prices recorded up to $40/ton increases when compared to initial February ranges. "Trading activity is performing with average rates despite the high season approaching Ramadan," a film manufacturer illustrated.

March offers In Lebanon were likewise higher on the month, with PP and PE prices witnessing monthly gains of around $40/ton.

Meanwhile, trading activity inside the country continues to stumble in the midst of the economic crisis the country has been facing since late 2019, causing a constant burden on the overall activities.

Generally, Middle Eastern players expect the recent uptick in PP and PE to persist along March, citing persistent supply constraints amidst several polyolefin producers running shutdowns since early January.
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