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Middle Eastern PP supply to Turkey reduced

  • 05/02/2016 (05:14)
Players in Turkey report reduced PP availability from the Middle East in tandem with some plant shutdowns on part of regional producers. Another reason behind the situation is deemed as those sellers’ lower allocations to Turkey given the unfavorable netback in this country.

PP sellers are adopting a firmer stance on their prices on the back of reduced supplies from Middle Eastern suppliers this week. Import PP offers saw weekly discounts early this week before sellers went to the sidelines and the previous low end prices disappeared on Thursday. Import PP prices in Turkey moved below China around two weeks ago.

PP fibre prices edged up in line with reports about limited availability for this product. Middle Eastern fibre prices gained $10/ton on both ends, while Iranian fibre offers firmed up $30/ton on the low end week over week.

A large packager stated, “Two global producers are now sidelined from the PP market. They appear to take a firmer stance, saying they do not have much to offer and therefore, they don’t need to lower their prices more.”.

A trader argued, “Although lower prices are speculated, we could sell Iranian PP fibre in large tonnages as supply from Iran is moderate. Middle Eastern producers, meanwhile, do not want to sell to Turkey below the rest of the world anymore.” Another trader added, “PP fibre is tight in the Gaziantep region. We are not willing to step back from our Iranian fibre offers as we are free from stock pressure.”

Saudi Arabian Petro Rabigh shut its 600,000 tons/year PP plant for 55 days by around mid-October. The plant was to resume production by late January with a slight delay. Traders in Turkey have been reporting that they were not able to receive any offers from the supplier since November.

Another Saudi Arabian PP supplier, Saudi Arabia’s National Petrochemical Industrial Company (Natpet) shut its propylene and PP complex in Yanbu on January 11 because of a technical issue. The restart of the 400,000 tons/year plant was planned for the second half of January.

According to market sources, UAE-based Borouge, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Austria’s Borealis, has started to shut the PP lines at its Ruwais petrochemical complex for a turnaround. Sources report that the company will continue to carry out maintenance work at its PP lines at the site by turns over the next 2-3 weeks while adding that the exact capacity to be affected by these shutdowns is unclear. The Ruwais complex has a combined production capacity of 1.76 million tons/year of polypropylene.

A producer source at Oman’s state-owned Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (Orpic) reported to ChemOrbis that the whole refinery will be undergoing a maintenance starting from February 23 for two months. During this period, export activities will be paused and the producer will only deliver to the domestic market from their stocks. The company shut its 350,000 tons/year PP plant at Sohar in January due to a technical problem. The plant was restarted in the last week of January. A trader in Turkey stated this week, “Our source was not able to offer material this week citing a shutdown at their PP plant.”
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