Following six consecutive weeks when domestic prices carried a premium over imports, the import homo-PP market rose above the domestic market last week in China, as per Chemorbis. Domestic PP prices reached their highest premium above imports during the second week of November according to data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard after adding customs duties to the import prices but ignoring clearing and handling charges. Local prices also do not include the VAT. Over the past two weeks, however, import prices steadily gained ground against domestic prices until the import market surpassed the domestic market last week.
Distributors and producers in China’s local market have been showing greater willingness to give discounts to conclude deals over the past week, with sellers reducing their offers by CNY50-200/ton (US$8-30/ton) in hopes of concluding more deals ahead of the year end. Demand was said to be sluggish over the past week with most converter being unwilling to purchase beyond their immediate needs. Concerns over the possibility that the Chinese Central Bank may enact further monetary tightening measures in the days to come also took their toll on buying interest in the domestic market. Meanwhile, traders offering overseas materials either left their offers unchanged or attempted slight increases of around US$10/ton in line with rising upstream costs. Import sellers reported that they are in no mood to reduce their offers for now as they do not believe that doing so would result in any appreciable rise in sales while higher propylene feedstock costs, persistently firm crude oil and naphtha prices as well as comparatively limited availability are supporting sellers in their firm stance on prices.