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Upward trend gains momentum in Feb across Mid-East, Africa

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 07/02/2018 (04:01)
In Africa and the Middle East, February PP and PE offers were revealed with increases based on supply tightness in the region amidst maintenance shutdowns. Although these increases were awaited, their size seems to have exceeded expectations in several parts of these regions after steady to firmer prices in January. The uptrend across global markets as well as strong energy and upstream costs supported the upturn despite unresponsive demand.

In the Middle East, Saudi producers announced increases to their local markets for February PP and PE offers. Converters in the United Arab Emirates also received February offers from a major Saudi producer with increases ranging between $40/ton and $150/ton for PP and PE when compared to January. “We are limiting our purchases to our basic needs. We also consider replenishing some material to avoid paying further increases as prices are likely to sustain firming in the upcoming days,” he noted. Borouge’s maintenance shutdown at its PP and PE units as well as the planned shutdowns in other suppliers trigger these expectations.

Converters in Jordan reported that February PP and PE offers they received from a major Saudi producer are $50-90/ton higher while players in Lebanon reported increases of around $30-60/ton from the Middle East for the new month.

When it comes to African markets, after a Saudi major announced its February PP and PE offers to Egypt with hikes ranging from $50/ton to $170/ton over January last week, other Middle Eastern producers also approached the country with increases for PE, albeit in smaller amounts of around $10-60/ton on a monthly basis.

In Kenya and Tanzania, significant increases showed up for February as a major Saudi producer’s February PP and PE offers are visibly up by $70-130/ton from January. Another Saudi producer applied a larger increase of $160/ton on PP to Kenya.

In Nigeria, the local producer, ELEME, lifted its PP and PE offers after several consecutive months of steady to softer prices. Import prices were also up by $110-150/ton on the month from Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Algeria is also among the markets that a Saudi major approached with large increases of around $60-100/ton for PP and PE. A distributor of the major commented, “The producer’s increases exceeded our expectations. Demand is slow amidst harsh economic conditions and uncertainty about the upcoming period.”

Tunisia and Morocco also witnessed monthly increases of €10-50/ton for PE offers for February. “PE supplies are sufficient whereas there won’t be any deliveries for homo-PP due to a shutdown during February. Overall demand is weak in North Africa particularly in Morocco due to the restriction on HDPE film imports in view of the recent ban on plastic bags,” a distributor noted.
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