13 Aug, 2018
In the Middle East and Africa, most regional producers revealed their PP and PE offers for August with rollovers to decreases amid the persistently weak demand ahead of the Eid al-Adha and Hajj holidays. This is marked as the fifth consecutive month that both markets have been on a stable to softer trend in both regions, according to ChemOrbis Price Indices. The last time some increases were recorded in PP and/or PE prices across these regions was March, disregarding a few local cases.
In Saudi Arabia, initial August prices from local producers held steady or eased in line with the market expectations due to sufficient supplies and the overall weakness in demand. A Saudi major cut its PP and PE offers by SAR147/ton ($39/ton) and SAR75-113/ton ($20-30/ton) respectively when compared to July. A different Saudi producer’s new PE offers indicated rollovers to decreases ranging from SAR37/ton ($10/ton) and SAR75/ton ($20/ton) from the previous month. Players expect to see further decreases in the weeks ahead.
In the United Arab Emirates, the new PP and PE prices remained within the previous ranges, with local buyers reporting weak buying activities in the midst of summer holidays and seasonal lull. A trader offering on behalf of a Saudi producer noted that they may offer price discounts for large purchases.
In Lebanon, a trader who received new PE offers from a Middle Eastern producer with a reduction of $10/ton for HDPE and LDPE film, and $20/ton for LLDPE c4 film reported comfortable supplies and a slow but steady improvement in demand. Players in Jordan also saw a mixture of price decreases and rollovers for August pricing from a major Saudi producer amid weak market activities.
Looking at Africa, buyers in Kenya received rollovers from July in tandem with the previous expectations. Most players believe that there is room for further discounts due to weak demand for August shipments.
The Nigerian producer, ELEME, kept its PP and PE offers for the local market unchanged for the second month in a row and two Saudi producers approached the country’s import market with rollovers to $20-50/ton decreases. A source noted that they are facing supply problems due to a ports strike in Lagos and added, “Demand is very slow and players are buying on a hand-to-mouth basis.”
In South Africa, a Saudi producer cut its August PE offers by $30-90/ton. Players believe that the current period of low prices will extend into September in view of the persistently slow demand across the region.
In Algeria, a Saudi major offered with decreases ranging between €20/ton and €30/ton for August while the majority of market participants remain cautious as prices are still deemed as too high.
Another Saudi producer lowered its August offers to Morocco by €10/ton for LDPE film and hiked its PP raffia and inj. offers by the same amount over July.