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Slackening demand weighs on PP, PE sentiment in Turkey

  • 09/03/2018 (08:43)
In Turkey, demand for polyolefins has stalled in the last couple of weeks as converters, who built stocks during the bullish run that was in place since November, have started to go to the sidelines. Fading demand and softening global markets are weighing on expectations for PP and PE after prices hit multi-year high levels for certain products driven by tight supplies.

PP players believe that prices have reached their peak levels after homo-PP hit almost a three-year high during the long bullish run. Activity has visibly slowed down for raffia, which forced traders to concede to small discounts on their deals this week. “We are shying away from long-distance import cargos and meet our needs from the local market instead as we think the market will see downward corrections in the coming days,” a converter noted.

A large buyer argued, “We stopped purchasing as our materials are due to arrive soon and we believe that the current price levels are overrated. Sentiment for PP raffia weakened as tightness eased along with waning activity. We expect the market to turn down next month following the sharp hikes during the last four months.” Distributors also admitted that they were more flexible on their prices and conceded to $15-20/ton discounts in return to firm PP raffia bids.

As for PE, the sentiment has softened due to relatively easing prompt supplies amidst waning demand for most products. Softening import offers in China and Europe amidst moderate demand also forced sellers to slightly step back from their previous offers. LDPE continued to show the weakest performance and saw discounts. “We are having hard times while concluding sales as an increasing number of buyers are adopting a wait-see stance these days. We are planning to cut our replacement volumes as we are not confident about the future outlook,” a distributor mentioned.

According to manufacturers, even if sellers try to hold the market at current levels, they will eventually have to compromise their margins. “We plan to consume our materials on hand. We expect the market to turn down in April now that China’s import PE market has eased down tracking domestic prices and several off-line capacities in the Middle East are expected to return from turnarounds next month,” stated a Turkish packager.
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