Iranian PE continues to make inroads in global markets

18-Apr-11
Players in global markets are reporting numerous Iranian PE offers this month in Italy, Turkey, China and even in Egypt, where Iranian LDPE film offers were more heavily reported in April when compared to the past months, as per ChemOrbis. In Italy, market players reported done deals for Iranian HDPE and LDPE this week as Italian buyers attempt to keep their costs down in the face of earlier price hike announcements from European producers. Iranian offers have shown up for the past three weeks at the bottom of the local ranges and have seen interest from buyers. There is up to a €110/ton difference between the high end of the Iranian LDPE price range and the high end of the West European LDPE price range. Buyers are particularly wary of spending on LDPE as they feel prices are at too high of a premium over other PE products. Deals for Iranian HDPE are up to €70/ton below the low end of European origins and there is a difference of €160/ton compared to the high end of European prices. European HDPE supply is considered to be on the tight side this month, which has helped raise prices for this product. In Turkey, an international trader commented this week, “Iranian materials are dominating the PE market.” Similar to the Italian market, many of the offers for Iranian materials are at the bottom of the overall price ranges. Import statistics for this year bear out these comments. In the LDPE market, Iran took top spot in February at 7,707 tons with the next closest import origin being Israel with 1,862 tons followed by Azerbaijan at 1,634 tons. Iran also took the top LDPE spot in January of this year at 4,769 tons. Iran was also top in the HDPE marketin February at 12,098 tons which was followed by Saudi Arabia at 11,178 tons and Libya at 5,334 tons. In January, however, Iran was in second place for HDPE imports. Iran, however, is not a dominant player in the LLDPE market being responsible for just 1,093 tons in February of this year compared to Saudi Arabia’s 13,296 tons. The situation is similar in China where Iran led imports for the first two months of this year. Iranian LDPE imports were registered at 20,896 tons in January 2011 followed by Malaysia at 12,134 tons and South Korea at 12,037 tons while in February Iran accounted for 10,043 tons versus 6,943 tons from Malaysia and 6,149 tons from Japan. In the HDPE market, Iran took top spot in January at 68,511 tons before moving to third place in February with 21,184 tons. Like in Turkey, Iran is a very small player in the LLDPE market relative to Saudi Arabia and other Asian origins. Also similar to other regions, Iranian LDPE and HDPE prices are at the low end of the overall import price ranges this week, but the gap is not as wide as in Italy when comparing Iranian offers to other origins. In other news from Iran this week, local media in the country reported that the Olefin 11 complex will start to come online in September. The complex, which will be operated by Kavian Petrochemical Corporation, has two crackers, each with a capacity of 1.09 mln tpa. The first cracker is expected in September and the second cracker in November depending on the progress at the South Pars gas field.
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