Thai players report tight supplies for local PP, PE
A distributor based in Bangkok stated, “Local producers have implemented increases on their prices this week owing to limited supplies, although buyers are less willing to replenish stocks amidst declining crude oil costs. However, we believe that prices will be able to firm up in the near term on the back of supply issues.” A second distributor added, “We see good demand due to short supplies in the local market and think that prices will remain firm in the days ahead given supply limitations.”
A trader commented, “Local producers are currently unable to supply materials to the local market. Demand remains stable while PP and PE prices have climbed by around THB2000/ton ($61/ton). We expect local supply issues to affect the import market as well.”
Another trader stated, “Supply is quite limited, especially for PP and PE, in the local market due to several maintenance shutdowns. Plus, some of the local producers previously sold their ethylene and propylene materials to the spot market instead of feeding their downstream units as they were able to achieve better margins on monomer sales. Our customers are complaining about late deliveries and are closely monitoring developments regarding supplies.”
A converter in the packaging sector said, “Overall supply is quite limited and prices are quite high. However, we believe that prices might start to soften soon due to decreasing crude oil prices. We are now waiting to hear new prices, which are expected to be announced by next week.”
A woven bag manufacturer added, “We expect a local producer to announce their new prices next week; however we are not sure if they have a sufficient quota to offer as we heard that they are only supplying their regular customers nowadays. Demand for our end products remains steady. We will be monitoring the supply situation closely over the near term.”
In production news, Thailand’s Siam Cement Group (SCG) shut its No.3 PP line last week due to an unexpected technical glitch. The line is expected to remain offline for around five days while the company investigates the problem. SCG’s PP plant has a total production capacity of 720,000 tons/year. HMC Polymers reportedly shut two PP lines at its 750,000 tons/year plant in late February. The company has not set a restart date yet.
Another Thai producer, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), reportedly shut its 300,000 tons/year LDPE plant at Map Ta Phut in early March for maintenance. The company is planning to shut its 400,000 tons/year LLDPE plant for maintenance in April or early May. Meanwhile, the producer is also planning to conduct annual maintenance shutdowns at two of its four steam crackers at Map Ta Phut in the third quarter. PTTGC’s cracker is able to produce 915,000 tons/year of ethylene and 360,000 tons/year of propylene.
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