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Saudi PP, PE markets reverse course in Feb after 8 months, maintenance schedule busy in Mid-East

by Başak Ceylan -
by Esra Ersöz -
  • 01/02/2023 (09:10)
Saudi producers started announcing their February PP and PE offers to their local markets, which suggest increases for the first time since May 2022, although the slump slowed down in the last quarter. Expectations remained firm and several players forecast increases similar in size to what have so far been announced in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Meanwhile, plant maintenance schedule remained busy in the Middle East, with several regional producers offline since early January.

Saudi producers increase offers to local markets as expected

In Saudi Arabia, a major producer’s new PP offers increased by SAR150/ton while PE offers were up by SAR75/ton when compared to initial January levels.

Another Saudi producer’s local PP and PE prices were likewise higher on the month. Accordingly, the producer’s PP offers rose by SAR225/ton whereas PE offers increased by SAR75-187/ton over January.

Increases were largely in line with expectations, which had called for an improvement at a global scale following the Chinese New Year. Several players suggested that the ongoing plant outages across the region may have also contributed to tighter supplies, which translated into higher pricing.

Saudi Arabia – PP – LDPE – HDPE – LLDPE – FD

Ongoing and planned turnarounds in region

As ChemOrbis Production Pro shows, SHARQ shut its LLDPE plant in early January while Yansab commenced a two-month shutdown at their complex at the start of the year.

In addition to SHARQ and Yansab, Borouge’s PP plants remain offline after going offline in mid-January. Several other regional producers, such as OQ and Qatofin, are also expected to shut their respective units in February.

Offers in Jordan rise; Emirati players expect similar increases

In Jordan, PP offers increased by $50/ton while PE offers recorded a monthly gain of $50-70/ton when compared to the initial January prices. However, buyers stated that there might be further room to push for discounts as end-product demand remained severely restricted in the country.

In the United Arab Emirates, expectations regarding February offers remained firm, with players taking the cue from the recent run-up in global markets, as well as in the Middle East. “We are expecting to see some increases in February,” a trader from Dubai said, adding that demand has improved when compared to the previous months.
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