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Turkey’s PE markets retain downtrend as 2021 ends

by Merve Madakbaşı - mmadakbasi@chemorbis.com
  • 31/12/2021 (08:51)
Most polyethylene players preferred to maintain their wait-and-see stance now that the new year is only a few days away and new January offers have yet to be confirmed. During the last working week of December, price discussions were thin and offers continued to be adjusted lower amid a traditional stagnancy across the board.

LDPE film – Import Prices – LLDPE C4 film – CIF Turkey – HDPE film

Middle Eastern announcements delayed until next week

Regular Middle Eastern suppliers are likely to determine their PE prices next week. This is mainly because most players have been dealing with their book closures, and weak projections have further dimmed buying sentiment.

Meanwhile, a couple of Middle Eastern prices were tentatively talked at $1580-1600/ton for LDPE, $1450/ton for LLDPE C4 film, and $1340-1350/ton for HDPE film CIF Turkey, subject to 6.5% customs duty, cash. These levels were not confirmed by the wider market at the time of press but were in line with January predictions.

Medium-term under discussion

Some players predict that the PE market may stabilize after January, particularly if demand returns. Activity has been dimmed by abrupt changes in the USD/lira parity over the past month, while the lira pared some of its losses in H2 December. This is expected to lift purchasing power on the side of PE consumers, who have been buying at the bare minimum during the last few weeks.

"Buyers have been shying away from purchasing beyond their basic needs and distant cargos as they preserve bearish expectations. The market may stabilize by February or even reverse course, bearing in mind that pent-up demand may emerge from consumers," argued some sellers.


PP drops seem to be ending, will PE follow suit?

According to some participants, the PE market will post additional decreases in January before facing a spillover impact from the PP market, where the downslide has lost momentum since last week. “The pressure from competitive US PE offers lingers while the year-end lull has kept purchasing volumes tied to needs. However, PP has signaled a stabilization recently owing to rising inquiries from buyers. This may impact PE too in the coming weeks,” said a player.

In Turkey’s import polyolefin markets, PP pioneered the downtrend back in early November, which was followed by a faltering sentiment for PE. Prices stabilized before turning down in early December, although the decreases were not as steep as they were for PP.

Looking ahead, Turkish players will keep a close eye on lower ethylene prices in Asia, the China PE market, where a Saudi Arabian major has started to seek drops of $10-40/ton, in addition to the post-holiday PE scene in Europe.
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