March expectancies surface in African and Middle Eastern markets
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A film and injection products manufacturer operating in Amman, Jordan, reported receiving $60/ton lower PP and $70/ton lower PE prices from the Saudi Arabian producers for February. According to him, apart from one regional producer, the rest of the Middle Eastern producers’ allocations are sufficient since overall demand remains restricted to buyers’ immediate needs as end product markets are still not promising. “However, given the large drops issued during the past months, we believe that prices will see some sort of stabilization as February closes,” he further commented.
A different Jordanian player also commented, “Currently, we can cover production with our previous stocks and therefore, we are not rushing to make fresh purchases. Plus, the market trend is not very clear at the moment, so, we prefer to meet our urgent needs from the local market. However, we notice that suppliers are limiting their cargoes in an attempt to preserve the prevailing prices. Considering this situation, we anticipate a steady to firmer trend for the upcoming period.”
A buyer operating in the United Arab Emirates also voiced a stable to firmer outlook for March if suppliers continue to keep their allocations limited. The buyer, who is in no rush to make fresh purchases, added, “For February, we are not planning to make any purchases as we already hold sufficient stocks. Plus, demand has been slow for almost three months and it is another reason why we continue to limit our purchases.”
In order to track weekly developments in Africa’s PP market, please see our bi-weekly Polymer Digest Africa Weekly PP Analysis (For members only)
In order to track weekly developments in Africa’s PE market, please see our bi-weekly Polymer Digest Africa Weekly PE Analysis (For members only)
In Nigeria, a trader commented, “The local currency has lost further ground against the US dollar and the problems when opening letters of credit at banks continue. This situation hinders import purchases. However, import Middle Eastern PP supplies are limited for February and this situation has helped demand for PP to pick up a little when compared to before.”
A Nigerian converter also highlighted, “Import trade has been slow on USD/NGN ex-change rate issues. We are only meeting our needs and additional discounts of up to $10-20/ton are easily obtainable on February deals. However, we have started to see some improvement on our end product demand and this situation may support prices in the upcoming term.”
A Tanzanian converter noted that the prices had already started to stabilize prior to Chinese New Year holiday. “Therefore, we are not sure of the upcoming trend and prefer to observe the market closely,” he further added.
An Egyptian trader remarked, “Tight supplies, especially in the local market, caused a steady to firmer trend while we see some improvement on demand since the beginning of month. However, liquidity issues are still hampering sales.”