The year-end lull in global PE markets coupled with falling upstream prices shaped the major producer’s pricing policy for this month. Accordingly, the producer came with visible price decreases across the board.
First decrease for Dec showed up in China but before the trade-truce-driven improvement in sentiment
It was the end of November, when players in China received new PE offers from the producer for December shipments with monthly decreases of $140/ton for HDPE film, $100-110/ton for LDPE film and 100/ton for LLDPE film.
However, the temporary trade truce between the US and China boosted the sentiment and pushed futures markets up, which have propped up polyolefin prices in the country this week.
Players are now closely monitoring whether or not the recovery in China will be sustainable amid the almost 3-year low ethylene prices in Asia and the slight hike attempts in the local market. The reaction of energy complex towards the imminent outcome of OPEC’s meeting will be another key factor to track in order to understand the upcoming trend.
Turkish buyers pointing to pressure from competitively priced US cargoes
In Turkey, buyers were offered drops ranging from $30/ton to $80/ton when compared to the last November prices from the supplier. However, manufacturers still found the most recent prices high to work with.
“We already expected to receive lower offers for December considering the intensified downward pressure of aggressive American PE cargos as well as the lower consumption on the side of buyers,” noted a player.
PE prices in Middle East, Africa extend losing streak to 9 months The major also reduced its prices to its domestic market this week by $140-160/ton for HDPE and by $70-100/ton for LDPE and LLDPE from November.
In the Middle East, the Saudi supplier issued up to $130/ton reduction in the markets of Jordan and Lebanon month over month. A couple of players reported slightly improved buying interest following the recent price cuts, with a converter saying, “Lower monomer costs along with the year-end sluggishness weighed on PE prices. Nonetheless, demand has picked up a bit ahead of the approaching Christmas holiday.”
Do price cuts really help demand somewhat improve?
In Africa, the producer initially sought rollovers for December in Egypt, players reported, before adjusting its prices down by $50/ton recently. Players in Algeria also received $50/ton drops from the Saudi producer. "Purchases remain tied to basic needs and we are pushing for further discounts," commented some players.
Traders in South Africa and Nigeria, meanwhile, noted, “Demand has slightly improved as players started securing their needs ahead of the Christmas holidays."