Following the two to three weeks of shutdowns for summer holidays in August, Italian buyers have totally resumed their activities this week, as per Chemorbis. Having been in the sidelines for a long period, buyers are trying to understand market mood as this month’s outlook has started to take shape based on the monthly monomer contracts and developments in the global polymer markets.
In the PVC and PE markets, sellers have slowly started to reveal their new prices in the spot market this week, with increases - pointing to the overall availability constraints and the settlement of the September ethylene contracts with €10/ton increases. Demand in the region is not very good, particularly in the PVC pipe industry, where converters witnessed a full month of shutdowns as a result of their poor end product business. PE buyers, who had been anticipating price decreases after the holidays, are also pointing to their upcoming low seasons.
Selling interests are relatively stronger in the PVC market than PE. Feeling a lack of pressure from imports, a PVC seller is reported to have concluded deals at his new higher levels. On the other hand, some PE buyers opine that these price hikes are attempted to keep prices stable this month while a couple of sellers also appear a little skeptical about obtaining their full hike targets seeing very limited interest from buyers. Price hikes are slowly surfacing in the PS market on the back of the persistent tightness and the increase in the styrene contract. Some buyers have already come to terms with the rumored price hikes while others express disappointment about this situation considering the poor performance of their end product markets. Different from the other polymers, the PP market is not seeing price hike attempts this month, which mostly stems from the settlement of the monthly propylene contract with a €10/ton decrease. Many sellers are seeking rollovers for this month, justifying their decision by pointing to the overall limited availability in the region as well as the fact that buyers, who didn’t stock up ahead of the holidays, will need to replenish stocks now. However, buyers are not in a hurry to make new purchases for now and they generally feel that they will be able to obtain small discounts as the month wears on.