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West African PP, PE markets remain strong in October

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 19/10/2021 (09:20)
In Nigeria, West Africa’s largest polymer market, October was marked by a shortage of supplies, escalating costs in logistics, and a challenging macroeconomic environment that dampened the buying interest.

Saudi major returns with firm offers

In October, players saw the return of a major Saudi producer. The producer had previously decided not to offer, citing availability issues and backlog orders. The major producer’s new levels were higher from their previous levels at $1750-1760/ton for PPH raffia and inj., and $1850-1870/ton for PPBC inj., at $1800-1820/ton for LDPE film, $1480-1490/ton for LLDPE C4 film, $1520-1580/ton for HDPE film, $1500-1510/ton for HDPE b/m, and $1470-1490/ton for HDPE inj. CFR Lagos, excluding 10% CD basis.

ELEME hikes offers for 2nd time in a month

For the first half of October, Nigeria’s local producer ELEME announced increases of NGN50,300/ton ($122/ton) for PPH raffia and inj. grades. The producer’s PPBC inj. offers were likewise higher by NGN45,400-45,600/ton ($110-111/ton) while PE offers saw increases of NGN45,000-50,000/ton ($109-122/ton) as compared to September.

More increases followed in mid-month. The producer’s new offers increased by NGN30,000/ton ($73/ton) as compared to early October levels.

The latest domestic offers were reported at NGN1,133,100/ton ($2757/ton) for PPH raffia and inj., NGN1,1948,00-1,200,200/ton ($2907-2920/ton) for PPBC inj., NGN910,000/ton ($2214/ton) for HDPE film and HDPE inj., NGN915,400/ton ($2227/ton) HDPE b/m, and NGN931,000/ton ($2265/ton) for LLDPE C4 film, all on ex-Port Harcourt City, cash not including 7.5% VAT.

Buying activities remain pressured in October

Although the rainy season in Nigeria is approaching an end, buying activities remained relatively pressured as compared with the dry season. Trading has also been challenged with shipping container shortages, freight costs and delayed arrivals. In addition, the rapid fall of the Nigerian naira against the US dollar reduced the buying power of Nigerian buyers.

Naira depreciated significantly against the US dollar, crashing to a record low at the official market on Thursday last week. The drop was even steeper at the informal black market.

Access to foreign exchange remained as another major factor weighing on activities. Nigeria has been battling dollar shortages for more than a year, which largely resulted from sharp losses in oil prices in 2020.

Early expectations for November

The ongoing issues regarding liquidity squeeze and restrictions in foreign exchange availability can easily keep markets facing upwards in November. Tighter supply, exacerbated by container shortages and port congestion, is also expected to remain as a key price driver next month.
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