After a prolonged period of steady price decreases mainly due to lackluster buying interest, import PP prices in Asia have started to firm up, as per ChemOrbis. Higher crude oil and spot propylene prices pushed import PP prices up on the lower end of the overall import range in China this week. This happened despite weak demand, which continues to weigh down on sellers who are offering at the higher end of the price range.
Although most mainstream PP producers are yet to make any direct offers to China for December, overseas producers from India and Saudi Arabia announced their December import PP offers to China with rollovers to increases compared to November. Buyers, however, are not willing to pay price increases next month given the year-end lull in their end product businesses. A trader who offers on behalf of a Saudi Arabian producer said he is willing to offer some discounts on their initial prices in order to entice better buying interest in the face of weak demand and buyers’ resistance towards higher prices. The recent gains in the upper end of the upstream chain have also led the sentiment in Southeast Asia to turn upwards on the sellers’ side. Firming price trends in some of the region’s local markets was another factor causing many PP sellers to take a firmer stance in their pricing for December. Although players have not reported any December offers in the import market so far, the import PP level was held steady on the low end week over week, with many sellers reporting that they are feeling more optimistic about their prospects for now. Similar to the Chinese market, however, buyers in Southeast Asia are also unhappy about the talk of price hikes as they have not seen any real improvement in their end product demand recently.