Polymer demand cools down ahead of holidays in Thailand

30-Mar-12
Polymer demand in Thailand, which has been stronger than demand in other Southeast Asian countries for most of the last two months, is beginning cool down following several consecutive local price hikes and with the approach of the Thai New Year holidays next month, as per ChemOrbis. Many distributors report that they are feeling cautious about replenishing their stocks for now given their uncertainty as to how demand will be affected by the upcoming holidays while some converters report that they are starting to feel more comfortable with their stocks these days and are accordingly feeling less pressure to source additional cargoes. In the PP market, an increasing number of players are beginning to describe demand as normal while several distributors are already shifting their focus towards late April and the period after the Thai New Year holidays. “Prices are stable this week and demand for our end products is normal,” reported a converter in the plastic bag sector. Another plastic bag manufacturer stated, “Local prices remain at high levels these days. We are not planning to make any fresh purchases for now as we are feeling more comfortable with our stocks after pursuing an active purchasing strategy for the past few months.” A distributor reported that they are taking a less active part in the market for now while waiting to gauge market sentiment after the holidays. “Domestic PP prices continued to firm up this week but we are not interested in purchasing as demand has begun to slow down and supply is sufficient to meet demand. We plan to re-examine the market after the holidays in mid-April as we believe that demand might pick up again after the holidays,” the distributor said. Players in the country’s PE market also reported that demand was not as brisk as it had been earlier in the month says ChemOrbis. “We have enough inventory to meet our needs ahead of the holidays and we will shut down our plant from April 13-17. We are in no rush to make additional purchases for now,” reported a converter in the packaging sector. A converter manufacturing plastic bottles for the cosmetics sector also reported greater reluctance to conclude fresh deals. “Demand for our end products is normal for now and we are feeling comfortable with our stocks. Therefore, we are not planning to make any additional purchases before the holidays,” the converter reported. A distributor offering domestic PE expressed some uncertainty about the medium term demand outlook. “We will be out of the market for four to five days during the holidays but some converters may take longer vacations. We are not planning to replenish our stocks for now as demand has cooled off somewhat when compared with the past month,” the distributor commented.Demand has also reportedly begun to cool down in the country’s PVC market. A PVC pipe manufacturer reported, “Our sales have slowed down in March after we enjoyed three months of satisfactory sales from December to February. Some of our customers in southern Thailand are reducing their purchases to focus on repairing their facilities from the damage caused by last year’s floods. We are planning to purchase a smaller amount of material next month in accordance with slower demand for our end products.” A PVC compounder predicted that domestic PVC deals might settle with rollovers next month owing to slower demand. The compounder stated, “We purchased beyond our needs for March but are thinking of scaling back our purchases in April due to the upcoming holidays. We think that prices will stabilize next month owing to relatively slower demand.” A source at a PVC producer also predicted slower PVC business in the coming month. “Our sales are normal for March but we are already seeing signs that demand might slow down next month. As we believe that the upcoming holidays will depress sales a bit next month, we are only thinking of announcing some small increases for April based on the increase in our production costs,” the source reported.
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