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Mid-Eastern PP, PE markets tack on gains in August

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 11/08/2020 (04:07)
Across the Middle Eastern PP and PE markets, August offers were largely higher over July. Hopes that the COVID-19 will subside and trading conditions return to normal provided some support to optimism in some regional markets.

Despite several players signalling a rise in demand amid signs of recovery in trading following the downturn, some regional markets, such as Lebanon, remained heavily depressed due to economic and political complications.

Saudi PE markets rise in unison while PPH sees different strategies

Land borders between Saudi Arabia and its three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbours reopen

A major local producer announced new PP and PE offers in Saudi Arabia with increases of SAR110-187 ($30-50/ton) over July levels. Two other local producers also increased their PE offers by SAR113-300/ton ($30-80/ton), bringing them to SAR3262-3375/ton ($870-900/ton) for HDPE film, SAR3638/ton ($970/ton) for LDPE film and SAR3262/ton ($870/ton) for LLDPE C4 film.

However, the two producers adopted different pricing strategies for PPH as one opted to increase their raffia and inj. offers by SAR75/ton ($25/ton) to SAR3450/ton ($920/ton) while the other lowered their prices by SAR187/ton ($50/ton) to SAR3000/ton ($800/ton), offering a more competitive edge.

In line with the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Saudi authorities reopened land borders with the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait on August 5 after a four-month closure.

PP, PE offers rise for second month in a row in UAE

Markets see a modest boost in demand amid lower COVID-19 cases

In the United Arab Emirates, offers from a local producer were higher for the second month in a row, with increases of $20-30/ton for PP and $30-50/ton for PE grades. A major Saudi supplier’s offers for August were similarly higher by $40-60/ton over July. At the same time, a different Middle Eastern producer announced hikes by $60-70/ton compared to their levels in July while the producer’s offers were relatively lower than that of the Saudi major.

According to players, demand has seen a modest improvement this month, in line with fewer reported COVID-19 cases in the country. However, the market remained broadly calm, with many players waiting for the end of summer to see activities gain speed.

East Med markets rise as Saudi suppliers opt for hikes

Jordan delays resumption of international flights, Lebanon in turmoil after explosion

In Jordan and Lebanon, the two reference countries for the East Mediterranean markets, players saw increased offers from Saudi suppliers.

New PPH and PE offers in Jordan were largely higher by $30-50/ton over July. In Lebanon, PPH raffia and inj. offers were stable to $30/ton higher than July while PE offers saw increases of $40-50/ton compared to last month.

A trader in Jordan reported that deals could be negotiated at July levels while a Lebanese trader worried that demand was not strong enough to absorb the new hikes.

New offers in Lebanon came shortly before a deadly blast in Beirut port, which left at least 200 dead and 6,000 injured on August 4. The explosion has heaped yet more pressure on the country’s fragile economic and political situation.

Meanwhile, authorities in Jordan postponed a resumption of international flights that was scheduled for August 5, as a result of a recent spike in global COVID-19 cases. The international flight services have been suspended for almost five months in Jordan.
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