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Turkish players evaluate impact of COVID-19 on end markets

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 25/03/2020 (09:51)
Global polymer markets have been struggling with the impact of coronavirus on economy and consumption recently.

Tightened measures to contain the spreading of the COVID-19 hampered several end markets in Turkey, not only by reducing consumption but also by bringing logistics almost to a halt.

Furniture and textiles have come to the forefront as industries that have been hindered by virus measures most so far. Some PP fibre and polyester converters in Turkey lamented, “We have faced cancelled or suspended orders from Europe and the US. Our exports to Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria were also disrupted given the lockdowns or restricted trading flow in these nations.”

Plus, pipe and cable industries have been facing subdued demand both in the domestic and export destinations, PVC and HDPE traders affirmed.

A pipe maker in Turkey noted, “We have plentiful HDPE pipe 100 stocks since our end business was not spectacular even prior to the evolving COVID-19 woes. End product demand has slowed further under the shadow of collapsing crude oil futures. Yet, sellers do not seem that eager to offer material either due to rising freight rates.”

A PVC trader commented, “We have concerns over the coming term as bearish expectations about April ethylene contracts as well as the rapidly spreading virus across the world are likely to keep cable demand muted. Construction industry is not a matter of urgency right now and high USD/TRY currency coupled with oil’s plunge and worldwide lockdowns pushed PVC buyers to the sidelines.”

PVC K70 is often used in electrical cable construction for insulation, sheathing and bedding.

On the other hand, increased appetite for cleaning products and food boosted demand for packaging. Some PE sellers confirmed seeing healthy demand from their customers for HDPE blow moulding in case their material is promptly available. A lack of fresh offers for Iranian and Uzbek origins due to border closure kept HDPE b/m supply limited.

HDPE blow moulding is often used in the production of containers for detergents, pharmaceutical and consumer products as well as containers of milk or juices.

The shrink business faced a pressure of falling demand, according to some players, which led to lower operating rates on the side of manufacturers. A carpet manufacturer affirmed, “Slower carpet exports dampened demand for shrink since it is often used in carpet packages.” Muted shrink demand may weigh on LDPE activities in the upcoming days.
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