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PP, PE prices in Mid-East and Africa set to remain weak until end of Q3

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 03/09/2019 (04:15)
In the Middle East, major regional producers have been mostly rolling or reducing their offers since June and a similar trend has prevailed since around the same time in the African PP and PE markets. Sluggish macroeconomic performance across both regions now looks set to keep the markets soft until the end of the third quarter.

Saudi major cuts prices to local market

A major Saudi producer, who has rolled over or reduced prices since June, announced decreases of SAR75/ton ($10/ton) for PP grades and SAR113-118/ton ($30-32/ton) for PE grades from last month.

Distributors said that the trading activity has failed to show an improvement after the Eid holiday, with many players sidelined due to the prevailing bearish sentiment.

Expectations of more regional producers announcing drops are also weighing on the market.

Emirati players offered stable prices for September

Although price discussions have been scarce in the UAE, the initial September offers from a major domestic producer emerged steady from August. An overseas supplier also approached the market with stable prices.

An Emirati trader said, “Although initial offers are stable, decreases are also within the realm of possibility,” and added that they are still waiting to hear offers from the rest of the producers before purchasing material. As for demand, the trader noted that it has remained sluggish amid high supplies.

Early offers for PP, PE head south in Egypt

Two Middle Eastern producers maintained the same pricing strategy they adopted in August and announced decreases ranging between $30/ton and $60/ton from last month. A producer source said the cuts are aimed to boost the lethargic mood in the market while a distributor noted that buyers are pushing for even lower deals.

Egypt’s local PE producers also lower prices

In a similar move, SIDPEC and ETHYDCO announced decreases of EGP500-1000/ton ($27-57/ton) and EGP1100-2500/ton ($63-148/ton) respectively over last month.

A source from the ETHYDCO highlighted the overall weakness in the trend and said that they lowered their prices in order to remain competitive in the market. A trader who received lower offers from SIDPEC also mentioned that the domestic producer is willing to offer discounts for large-volume purchases.

Local offers in Nigeria steady-to-soft

In West Africa, the Nigerian producer ELEME’s September PP and PE offers to its local market were steady to softer by NGN15,000-20,000/ton ($41-55/ton) from last month. This marked the fourth consecutive month the producer has rolled over or reduced its prices. A source reported sufficient inventory levels, while also noting that buyers have remained sidelined amid the bearish sentiment.

PE offers from Saudi major down for 4th consecutive month in Kenya

An end product manufacturer received PE offers from a major Saudi producer with monthly decreases of $30/ton. “Decreases were in line with expectations amid the global downturn in PE prices. However, end-product demand is still weak,” the manufacturer commented.

This has been the 4th month in a row PE offers are down from the Saudi major.

Another producer, who also received lower offers from the Saudi major, said most sellers are willing to negotiate their offers and added that they are expecting to see further drops in prices.
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