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Sentiment in China PP, PE markets turns bearish again

by Pınar Polat -
  • 18/11/2021 (09:38)
In China, PP and PE prices have posted fresh decreases recently with a renewed pressure from the weakness in Dalian futures. This followed a short-lived stabilization in the country’s polyolefin markets over the past week.

A trader said, “The sentiment in the polyolefin markets improved last week after the Dalian turbulence was over. However, spot PP and PE prices have moved back down in recent days as Dalian futures have been depressed so far this week, keeping the overall demand weak.”

Disregarding last week’s stability, ChemOrbis Price Wizard shows that China’s import PP and PE markets have been losing ground since around the first half of October, when the downtrend kicked off due to the spillover impact of the government’s intervention on record-high coal prices.

Price – PP – PE – Import – China

In China, import polyolefin prices for Middle East origin are standing at $1170-1200/ton for homo-PP raffia and injection, $1480-1520/ton for LDPE film, $1130-1160/ton for HDPE film, and $1150-1180/ton for LLDPE film, all on CIF China, cash basis.

The weekly averages have been down by $10-40/ton for these grades so far this week.

Local polyolefin prices in China have mirrored the import markets, posting weekly decreases of CNY110-300/ton ($17-47/ton) so far this week after following a stable trend over the past week.

Dalian futures follow coal futures lower

The most actively traded January LLDPE and PP futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange posted weekly decreases of CNY149/ton ($23/ton) and CNY216/ton ($34/ton) as of November 17.

The recent fall in the Dalian futures prices was attributed to lower coal futures prices amid easing supply concerns after the government intervention.

Demand remains limited amid recent volatility

The up and downs in polyolefin prices in the past two weeks have kept buyers on the sidelines.

“After last week’s improvement, the market is dragged down by lower futures again. As the trend has been volatile recently, downstream buyers are either buying based on their needs or refrain from fresh purchases, seeking lower prices”, another trader commented.

Buyers’ cautious stance has reflected on the country’s two major polyolefin suppliers’ combined inventory levels as well. Although they are down by 20,000 tons from a day earlier on Wednesday, November 17, they were up by 25,000 tons on a weekly comparison.
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