Will pressure from China on Turkey’s PP market remain limited?

The Turkish PP market has followed a stable to soft trend so far in November with players reporting that Middle Eastern and Indian suppliers have not rushed to lower their prices in the import market despite unsatisfactory demand or amid plunging prices in China, as reported on www.ChemOrbis.com. Many concur that what lies behind this is lack of visible stock pressure on the producers’ side and lack of Iranian cargoes, which has been helping the Turkish PP market limit the degree of downward pressure from China for the past few weeks. Players are now waiting to see new offers from regular suppliers for December shipments; however, activity remains calm across the Turkish PP market with buyers delaying negotiations to the PlastEurasia exhibition to be held next week in Istanbul. “Crude on NYMEX has been hovering around US$40/bbl while naphtha has been mostly stable both in Asia and Europe. Plus, it has been two weeks that import homo PP already broke below the US$900/ton threshold in China. This would theoretically make offers to Turkey more than US$50/ton below the current offer levels; however, there is no offer near those theoretical levels in reality today in the Turkish PP market. The two markets have to come back into balance and this is possible through price decreases to Turkey,” commented several buyers. A Middle Eastern supplier also affirmed receiving bids US$50/ton below his current offer levels to Turkey as per ChemOrbis pricing service. A seller commented, “We do not think that Middle Eastern sellers will lower their prices aggressively as there is not much Iranian supply around. This hinders the negotiation power of buyers. They may concede only to small discounts in deals.” Players have been reporting insufficient supplies from Iran for the past month. “Three major PP suppliers in Iran are still having production constraints. One of them is only offering to its selected customers, the second one is clearing its backlogs and the third one is only offering to its own local market,” argued a trader. Another trader opined, “The lack of considerable stock pressure as well as the relatively firm stance of the nearby European market may have helped Turkey’s import suppliers keep their offers stable so far; however, I believe that they do not want to lower their prices noticeably mainly because of the lack of firm bids from buyers. They do not want to contribute to a downturn.”
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