Import offers may regain interest in India

In line with the global upturn, import cargoes have been offered to India with increases, as per ChemOrbis. Nevertheless, there was not much interest for these offers up until a short while ago due to weak demand, sufficient local stocks and weak local currency. Now that the Indian rupee has appreciated against the US dollar and local supplies are reported to be limited particularly for LLDPE, players in India have heard more import offers and deals this week in the polymer markets. A trader based in Mumbai said, “Import offers are seen more often this week in the Indian market. The buying activity is good for all products in the local market thanks to the appreciating INR/US dollar parity and prevailing hikes.” The weak stance of the local currency hampered buying appetite for import cargoes amongst players in India for some time. Indeed, the rupee had been depreciating against the US dollar for most of the second half of 2011 until December 14, when the parity reached a peak at 53.93. After that, the dollar has been steadily losing strength while the Indian rupee has appreciated by almost 8% so far. The stronger local currency may help attract some buy interest for import cargoes. Some traders and distributors also underscored, “PE supply is limited in the local market due to the fact that some domestic producers have halted their production.” According to the regional players, Haldia is not likely to resume its operations by late this week while Reliance has two of its plants shut for unscheduled maintenance due to technical problems. Thus, they are reporting restricted availability particularly for LLDPE in the local market. As for PP, a distributor located in Bangalore said, “Local PP offers have held steady this week.” Local supply and demand are mostly balanced for PP, report resellers, adding that their sales have improved slightly in January when compared to December. A trader said, “Locally held supply for both PP and PE is not ample as resellers avoided engaging in import purchases in the past few months.” Import PP offers to India have posted large increases for February with a Middle Eastern producer reporting to have sold some cargoes this week but in small amounts due to its limited allocation, as per ChemOrbis. In the PVC market, a trader said, “Major Taiwanese and Korean producers have already closed their order books for February at higher prices. We have also started to see some European offers emerge in the local market after a few months of absence albeit in limited quantities.” A distributor located in Delhi offering PVC locally also reported, “Demand is regular in the local market. We have heard some import deals concluded this week.”
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