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Mid-Eastern sellers approach China, SE Asia and Turkey with firmer PP, PE prices for Jan

by Esra Ersöz - eersoz@chemorbis.com
  • 11/01/2023 (18:25)
Although Saudi Arabian suppliers unveiled their new January offers with rollovers to decreases for PP and PE inside their local markets, they have emerged with firmer prices in major spot markets including China, Southeast Asia and Turkey. They have mainly found support from reduced supplies despite unbrilliant demand.

Asian markets cautiously firmer, but demand gripped by the massive Covid wave

A Saudi major hiked January PE and PP offers to China by $10-20/ton when compared to their December 2022 levels last week.

Likewise, a major Middle Eastern PE supplier slightly raised its offers to Southeast Asia for January. Almost all sellers concur that demand is not there to justify price hikes but supplies have largely reduced because of lower operating rates across the region and the loss of workforce inside China.

ChemOrbis Price Index also suggests that PP and PE markets both in China and Southeast Asia have indeed been slightly and gradually firming since mid-December, regardless of all the demand woes.
“The supply is quite tight and there is not much import availability. So, offers have continued to be raised. Chinese origins have largely been missing,” said a trader in Vietnam. “At the same time, demand is not too strong. Buyers are replenishing just because of a concern that prices could rise. But others are still cautious and think prices could drop any time because of the weak demand and weak global economy,” he added.

Adding to the bleak picture, there is a supply overhang expected in China in Q1 amid the planned start-ups.

Availability concerns take the front seat in Turkey, too

PP and PE markets started 2023 on firm footing, as well, since supply issues have taken precedence over feeble demand situation in Turkey.

Middle Eastern sellers’ January offers to Turkey indicate increases of $20-40/ton over last month, depending on the product and grade.
Middle Eastern suppliers’ allocations have been elusive for January as Saudi Yansab have shut its PP and PE plants until February. Kuwait’s Equate has also shut its swing PE plant while players are also speculating over unconfirmed PE shutdowns at other Saudi producers.
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