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New offers delayed until next week in Turkey’s polymer markets

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 30/12/2022 (16:47)
A very limited number of import offers were reported this week as the year-end lull became more prominent in PP, PE, PVC and PS markets. Most polymer suppliers elected to delay their announcements for January until next week, while buyers were busy with their book closures and stock takings.

Import Prices– CIF Turkey – PP raffia – PVC K67 – HDPE film

PP sellers aim for hikes amid a lack of stock pressure

In the PP market, buyers continued to report receiving higher offers from their Saudi Arabian and Russian suppliers for another week. Saudi Arabian PP raffia and fibre offers were assessed with steady to $20-30/ton higher. “Sellers intend to raise prices further, with selling ideas ranging from $1050 to $1100 per ton CIF Turkey depending on grade," confirmed some converters.

Nonetheless, an uncertain demand outlook in Turkey coupled with Covid-related uncertainties in China continue to keep players cautious. One of them said, “Although lower domestic stocks, limited import cargos and slightly higher oil futures underpin the sentiment in China, the rising infections and the upcoming capacity additions lead to a blurry outlook in the country. This cautiousness ahead of the holidays may keep hike attempts in Turkey moderate next month.”

A large-scale buyer commented, “Buyers have been holding onto their cash during the last month of the year. Whether or not they will decide to spend money on resin will be a key factor to track in January.”

PE outlook appears stable to firmer for January

Price discussions have been thin in the PE market as no fresh offers have been revealed so far. Several players repeated that a relatively improved sentiment pervaded the PE market owing to relatively reduced availability, while a spillover impact from firmer PP prices seemed on the horizon.   

Indeed, consumers confirmed receiving slightly higher LDPE offers from the local producer, Petkim this week. The company seems to have already eased its stock pressure and issued some upward corrections following notable discounts throughout H1 December.

Import Middle Eastern PE prices were assessed steady to slightly higher to reflect the fading of previous low ends and the slightly improved sentiment for January. Meanwhile, limited prompt supply provided extra support for HDPE b/m, as several players put it. A converter also confirmed, “We secured some HDPE b/m given the recently better demand from derivative markets.”

Most regional producers opted to postpone their price announcements for the new month, while one of them lifted its offers by $10/ton for the week. A source from the producer confirmed, “We needed to raise LDPE, particularly as this product fell too much in the previous two months and lost its premium over LLDPE and HDPE film.”

Tightness to push PVC markets up further

An extremely limited number of import prices emerged this week in line with an ongoing tightness in the PVC market. Players reported that European offers were delayed until next week amid a bullish scene across most outlets. US K67 prices moved up further, nearing the $950/ton CIF Turkey threshold. This caused traders to expect fresh European shipments above the $1000/ton mark.

A profile maker lamented, "We were told by one of our European suppliers that they may not be able to provide any allocations to Turkey in January. Despite the fact that end demand remains low, resin suppliers are willing to raise their prices in anticipation of a material shortage."

PS suppliers withdraw offers on soaring costs

Styrenics have been in search of a floor during December, with cautious hike attempts from South Korea and lower prices from Europe. Indeed, the PS market was in limbo between rising upstream chains and lethargic end-product demand, while year-end lethargy kept pressure valid throughout December. Nonetheless, an increasing number of PS sellers signaled a firmer policy for early 2023, citing rising costs and their need to improve their margins.

According to ChemOrbis data, spot styrene prices on FOB NWE basis rebounded from a three-month low of around $990/ton in late November to as high as $1290/ton in mid-December. Styrene prices on FOB Korea basis rose slightly above the $1000/ton threshold and remained there, compared to $960/ton two months ago. 

Multiple PS players reported to ChemOrbis, "We realized that domestic producers have withdrawn their offers from the market recently as they hope soaring styrene prices will propel the market higher by new year. Relatively dwindling prompt supply may also prop up the market in the coming term, mitigating the impact of an uncertain demand outlook for Q1."

The locally-held GPPS and HIPS markets were assessed $20-30/ton above last week in line with reduced supply inside and signals of a firmer trend for import cargos going forward. 

A few traders also confirmed that they were unable to receive any prices from Asia this week, despite notably lower freight rates from the region to Turkey. "Sellers may lift their offers by around $30-50/ton for January, while we will also observe buyers’ reactions amid elevated utility costs and economic challenges that pervade the business," opined a player.
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