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Vietnam’s PE market keeps surging, LDPE sees sharper hikes than other grades

by Merve Sezgün -
  • 22/01/2024 (02:00)
Despite the persistent sluggishness in buying sentiment, both import and local PE prices in Vietnam have witnessed a fresh round of increases. Sellers are pointing to rising upstream and freight costs, as well as reduced import availability to justify their further hike attempts, while buying ideas for most grades remain below the offer levels.

The country’s import PE markets have tracked a stable to firmer trend since they rebounded from around five-month lows in mid-December.

Import LDPE regains premium over HDPE after 10 months

For the week ending on January 19, the overall ranges of import prices were assessed at $1020-1100/ton for LDPE film, at $1010-1070/ton for HDPE film, and at $970-1050/ton for LLDPE film, all on CIF Vietnam, cash basis. Compared to the previous week, the LDPE film range spiked by $50-100/ton, while HDPE film was up by $20-50/ton and LLDPE film was stable to $20/ton higher.

The sharper hikes recorded in LDPE film prices have been attributed to tighter supplies and relatively better demand for the grade.

Data from ChemOrbis Price Index suggest that the weekly average of LDPE film prices has regained its premium over HDPE film after almost ten months. Currently, the delta between the two stands at $20/ton.

Vietnam – PE film

A trader commented, “LDPE film prices are rising almost on a daily basis. Supply is quite tight for the grade. However, overall demand is lackluster, raising concerns that prices may struggle to sustain the upward trend in the long run. We worry about the potential for a rapid collapse if prices continue to escalate too fast.”

Another trader also highlighted the reduced allocations from the Middle East amid the ongoing freight turmoil and plant turnarounds scheduled for Q1 and Q2, saying, “LDPE has experienced the fastest increase compared to HDPE and LLDPE film due to tightness. Meanwhile, a major Saudi producer has indicated a potential shortage also in LLDPE supply due to a plant shutdown.

Local LDPE film market climbs to 4-month high

ChemOrbis Price Index data also reveals that the local LDPE film market has reached around a four-month high following the latest round of sharp hikes.

“Sellers are attempting to raise prices, particularly for domestic LDPE film. Most traders are seeking offers and restocking before the holiday, resulting in a more active market due to the price increase. Despite the heightened activity, the actual demand from converters remains weak. Hence, we are skeptical about the sustainability of this uptrend, as the market may not be supported for long since demand lacks the strength to uphold it,” a local seller noted.

For the week ended on January 19, local PE film prices were assessed at VND27,500,000-29,500,000/ton ($1020-1095/ton without VAT) for LDPE, at VND27,500,000-28,500,000/ton ($1020-1058/ton without VAT) for HDPE, and at VND26,800,000-27,500,000/ton ($994-1020/ton without VAT) for LLDPE, all on FD Vietnam, cash including VAT basis.

Compared to the previous week, the LDPE range is stable to VND1,000,000/ton ($40/ton) higher, the HDPE film range is stable to VND500,000/ton ($20/ton) higher, while LLDPE is stable to VND100,000/ton ($4/ton) higher.
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