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PP, PE markets on a slight uptrend in Indonesia despite Ramadan lull

by Pınar Polat -
  • 19/05/2020 (03:51)
Both import and local polyolefin markets in Indonesia have been on a stable to firmer note for the past three weeks despite the country’s weak demand conditions amid the month of Ramadan and ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Apart from market hopes on easing partial lockdown adopted to curb the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in June, the recent firming in energy values as well as upstream markets have supported the market to some extent.

Extended until May 22, the partial lockdown includes a ban on gatherings of more than five people, restricted public transport and mandatory work from home. The restriction was announced only in Jakarta on April 10 and spread to more than 20 cities afterwards.

Discussions about resuming Southeast Asia’s largest economy gradually starting from June have already begun in order to help the country’s coronavirus-hit economy, according to media sources.

Local PE prices rise up to 10% in past three weeks

According to the weekly average data obtained from ChemOrbis Price Index, LLDPE film prices on FD Indonesia basis have gained 10% since late April while HDPE film prices have increased around 6.5%. As for homo-PP raffia, prices have risen nearly 8% within the same period.

Local producer lifts PP, PE offers after month-long declines

A local producer in Indonesia has been adopting a firm pricing policy to its local market for the past two weeks.

The stable to firmer trend across import PP and PE markets as well as limited LLDPE supply were cited as factors pushing the local markets up.

Plus, the producer faced some technical issues at its cracker by early May and resumed operations last week.

Import PP, PE sentiment supported by easing lockdowns

Both overseas and regional sellers either kept their offers stable or applied slight increases on their import PP and PE offers to Southeast Asia markets, including Indonesia in the week that ended on May 15.

Their intention to stand firm on their offers particularly for the second half of May was attributed to expectations that center on a possible recovery in economic activity and demand in line with ending lockdowns for the countries coming out of the controls in May and June.

Meanwhile, the volatility in China’s PP and PE markets that has been in place since the first half of April remains a factor to watch coupled with the trend in energy and upstream markets, players operating in the import markets concur.

Spot C2, C3 prices in Asia also firm up

According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot ethylene and propylene prices on CFR China basis have also tracked a firming trend for the past three weeks, moving back above $550/ton and $750/ton, respectively. Propylene supply is tighter across Asia as while buying interest for ethylene is healthy.
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