Local PE prices track import prices higher in SE Asia

02-Mar-12
This week, local PE prices in Southeast Asia moved higher, following the increases in import prices on announcement of higher March prices from overseas producers last week, as per ChemOrbis. Sellers cited firm costs and relatively limited supply as support for their price increases while demand was said to be regular in the region. In India, domestic producers began the month by announcing price hikes for LLDPE, HDPE and LDPE, with LLDPE seeing the largest hikes and LDPE the smallest. These increases came on top of the price increases implemented during the month of February for HDPE and LLDPE. “Demand has picked up a bit in the local market this week and we are seeing better buying interest,” commented a distributor in India. Domestic producers in Malaysia have also announced their initial March PE prices with significant hikes from February, with LDPE and LLDPE prices seeing larger increases than HDPE prices. Higher ethylene costs were cited as the main factor pushing sellers to revise their price for March. “We are still gauging buyers’ reactions to our new prices. Demand has not been all that encouraging in the local market recently but we had to raise our prices given the significant upward movement in energy prices seen over the past few weeks,” stated a distributor says ChemOrbis. In Indonesia, domestic producers opened the week by announcing increases on their domestic HDPE and LLDPE offers, with their LLDPE price hikes being relatively higher than their HDPE increases. “We lifted our prices in accordance with firmer upstream costs and limited availability following a small production hiccup at our plant,” a producer source reported. “We received higher prices from the local market this week but have not made any purchases yet as demand for our end products is not very encouraging these days,” stated a converter operating in the packaging sector. A plastic bag manufacturer in the Philippines reported receiving higher prices for locally-held import HDPE and LLDPE film this week, commenting that the increase amounts for LLDPE and HDPE have been similar. “We are seeing normal demand for our end products these days. Although we had already secured some locally-held HDPE film earlier this week, we are planning to make some additional purchases from our regular suppliers over the short term." In Thailand, distributors and converters report that prices for locally-held material have been stable to slightly firmer over the past week. “Local supply for most PE products is tight these days and we are struggling to secure enough material to cover our needs,” a plastic bag manufacturer in the country stated. Another converter commented, “Supply is tight and we are having a difficult time securing sufficient stocks these days. We are a bit worried about our end product business as it becoming increasingly difficult to maintain profitable operations in the face of persistently rising raw material costs.”
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