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PP, PE rally fizzles in Mid-East; will prices weaken in April?

by Nada Samir - nada@chemorbis.com
  • 26/03/2024 (09:42)
Middle Eastern PP and PE markets saw March offers from regional sellers with renewed hikes from February amidst higher costs and globally firm sentiment. However, hike requests failed to be sustained in some markets while East Med markets even witnessed discounts from last month. Regarding April, players mostly project softer polyolefin prices.

Saudi PP, PE markets up for 2nd month

A major Saudi supplier’s March PE offers to their local market indicated SAR112-150/ton ($30-40/ton) increases as compared to February levels. Also, the major hiked PP prices for the second consecutive month, issuing SAR37-112/ton ($10-30/ton) increases from February. “The uptick in prices was tempered by an improved supply dynamic. Also, Ramadan lull adds to the scene keeping activities limited,” a local distributor stated.

Rally lost pace in Emirati markets

In the United Arab Emirates, Middle Eastern suppliers revealed their initial March PE offers with $10-40/ton increases when compared to the latest February levels. However, PP offers saw minor hike requests of $10/ton from February.

Also, initial offers from the country’s local PP producer, Borouge, were $10/ton higher from their latest February levels; however, the producer stepped back from their initial offers and deals were reportedly concluded with rollovers from February.

“Sluggish demand, which faded further as Ramadan kicked in, failed to align with the prevailed hikes requests,” opined a local source.

Feb PP gains wiped out in East-Med markets; US PE offers re-emerge

In the East Mediterranean region, import PP, PE prices maintained their bullish run for the second month in a row. However, the persistently weak market fundamentals amidst geopolitical risks and dwindling end-sales kept the hikes in check as discounts were applied on deals.

Players in Lebanon received March offers with around $10-40/ton increases for PP and PE grades when compared to February levels. Likewise, March PP and PE offers were announced in Jordan with $30-50/ton increases from latest February levels. However, sellers retreated from their initial offers amid the persistently weak demand and the re-emergence of competitive US PE offers. “Prices have been revised amidst buyers’ resistance while deals are being concluded at or close to February levels,” a local source commented.

April outlook soft across Mid-East

Middle Eastern markets failed to see a significant improvement in downstream demand during March, which is expected to last during the upcoming term with the impact of the nearing Eid al-Fitr holiday. On the other side of the coin, supporting upstream costs amidst high monomer prices and bullish forecasts in the oil market rule out the possibility of drastic drops during April.
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