10 April, 2018
PE prices within Southeast Asia’s local markets have extended their softening trend into this week, defying the recent firming in the nearby Chinese market. Players operating in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand reported that regional demand remained sluggish given buyers’ lack of appetite for fresh purchases in the midst of sufficient stocks for most PE products, including LDPE and LLDPE.
According to traders in Indonesia, a domestic producer applied decreases of IDR190,000-310,000/ton ($14-23/ton) on its LLDPE film and injection offers at the start of the week. The producer kept its HDPE prices stable owing to relatively limited supplies for this product
An Indonesian bottle manufacturer opined, “Local suppliers are seeking stabilization in PE prices by pointing to the recent recovery in China. However, domestic demand is still disappointing despite the fact that the holy month of Ramadan is approaching. The market outlook is yet to be clear given the status of demand.”
In Malaysia, converters received local PE offers with further decreases when compared to last week. A bag manufacturer commented, “Demand towards our end-products remains quite slow while we still have some inventory from last month. Hence we are not planning to make any large-scale purchases for the moment.”
A Malaysian trader confirmed the lack of buying interest, noting, “Buyers are not interested in fresh purchases amidst sufficient supplies, particularly for LLDPE film. HDPE grades are slightly limited, yet this has failed to push the market higher so far this week.”
In Thailand’s local PE market, prices for most grades have also maintained their decreasing path, with a trader saying, “Trading activities are quite limited ahead of the Songkran holiday, which will start on April 13 and last for three days. We think that local prices are not likely to rebound until players are fully back to their desks.”
As for the region’s import PE market, a few players noted that China’s rebound was yet to be felt given the ongoing downward pressure from competitive local prices. “The softening trend remains in place in line with lower offers from the Middle East. Buyers are placing lower bids even after the most recent price cuts,” a trader said.