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PP, PE markets remain soft for another month in Egypt, Mid-East ahead of Eid

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 06/08/2019 (09:32)
August marked the third month in a row for steady-to-soft pricing in Egypt and the Middle East. Buying interest in both regions has been sluggish amid challenging macroeconomic environment and insistently ample supply. To add to this, players have already started leaving the market for the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, starting on August 11.

Initial import prices in Egypt roll over but lower deals expected

Import PP and PE prices in Egypt maintained their downtrend going into the Eid holiday. Although a Saudi major opted for rollovers for August, players said that they expect to see discounts in later days. A converter who also received rollovers from an Emirati supplier forecasted drops of around $30-40/ton in deals amid sluggish demand.

Egyptian PE producers announce hefty drops

The local PE producers of Egypt, SIDPEC and ETHYDCO, both announced hefty drops ranging between EGP700/ton ($42/ton) to EGP1500/ton ($90/ton) when compared to July.

Producer sources said the recent declines were driven by various bearish factors, including the upcoming Eid, fluctuating monomer costs and the downward pressure from the competitively-priced US cargoes.

EPPC cut offers for 3rd time, OPC to be absent from market

EPPC, Egypt’s domestic PP producer, cut offers for the third month in a row to remain competitive with imports and brought the cumulative decreases to $90-100/ton.

Meanwhile, OPC, the other local producer, has announced that they will not be offering cargoes for August due to a planned maintenance shutdown at their plant
and their export commitments.

Aug PP, PE pricing steady-to-soft in Saudi Arabia

A major Saudi producer’s offers to the local market indicated rollovers for PE grades and some drops for PP grades. Meanwhile, new offers from the two other domestic suppliers stood relatively competitive with regards to the major producer.
Saudi players reported weak buying activities due to slow consumption for finished goods. A converter also stated that sellers might be willing to offer additional discounts to close deals.

Emirati players expect lower deals before holiday

An Emirati supplier kept offers to the local market unchanged from July. However, a distributor highlighting quiet activities and sluggish demand said, “Buyers are placing lower bids and considering the supply-demand dynamics, lower deals are expected.”

The Saudi major’s new offers to the UAE were also stable from last month.

New prices in East Med point to drops amid sluggish demand

In Lebanon, two Middle Eastern suppliers announced decreases of $20-30/ton PE grades when compared to last month while the Saudi major’s latest offers were revealed at around similar levels amid subdued buying interest.

Similarly, players in Jordan received new August prices from the Saudi major with $30/ton decreases for PE and steady to $10-30/ton softer prices for PP.

“We expect other Middle Eastern producer to follow a similar pricing strategy, considering the sluggish demand for final products,” a source stated.
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