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Middle Eastern sellers seek hikes for Oct in global PE markets

by Esra Ersöz -
  • 03/10/2019 (04:14)
It came as no surprise when a Saudi major revealed its October prices with increases last week to China. This week, more suppliers from the Middle East showed up with higher prices for October both in Southeast Asia and Turkey while Chinese players are away for a week-long holiday.

Will returning Saudi supply, plunging oil cast pall over October hikes?

Buyers across the board, however, remain reluctant to accept these hikes. This is because they do not think that this increase has a leg to stand on when almost all Saudi suppliers reported that they have resumed normal feedstock supply from Aramco lately following the attacks in mid-September. Plus, crude oil has erased its gains and even fallen further to the levels last seen in early August.

Saudi major pioneers October hikes in China

The producer raised its October PE offers by $60/ton for HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE film and by $40-50/ton for HDPE blow moulding.

No deals were concluded in the thick of the holiday mood last week.

Higher offers from Mid-East ensue in Southeast Asia

Offering PE to Southeast Asia higher, a source from a Middle Eastern producer said, “There were more inquiries this week. However, buyers are showing resistance when crude oil and ethylene prices are back down. Plus, they are already stocked up particularly for HDPE and LDPE when the market was near 10-year low.”

High stocks, influx of US PE may promote waiting stance

Another Saudi supplier is seeking $20/ton hikes for October in Southeast Asia. A company source confirmed selling only LLDPE so far this week, while demand for HDPE and LDPE suffers a lot.

Pointing to the pressure from US PE, which has lost the opportunity to sell to China for all grades, buyers are in no mood to accept higher levels. “They will prefer to wait for November, when they hope for a price relief. The stocks they built in the past two months may help them wait,” said another seller.

Hikes of up to $40/ton show up from Mid-East in Turkey

Similar to Southeast Asia, a Middle Eastern supplier has lifted its offers for LLDPE by $30-40/ton from last September deals, while raising HDPE film by $20-30/ton.

Receiving higher offers from other suppliers as well as the local producer, Petkim, buyers continue to approach the recent upturn with skepticism.

PE prices are moving higher in October but the sustainability of this upturn is largely under question, said a player.
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