Steep declines in the upstream chain in May have seen spot ethylene and propylene prices in Asia close the month of May with monthly losses of US$310/ton and US$250/ton respectively, as per Chemorbis. Middle Eastern producers have revealed PP and PE offers with decreases to Turkey and Egypt for June, in a bid to attract buyers’ interest amidst significantly lower costs, along with the ongoing downward wave coming from Asian markets.
Accordingly, a major Middle Eastern producer, offering from bonded warehouse, issued a price decrease of US$30-50/ton on HDPE and LLDPE prices, while another regional producer down revised HDPE offers by US$80/ton for June. This week, more suppliers came with decreases on their initial June prices, with a Middle Eastern supplier revealing HDPE and LLDPE prices US$10-60/ton below the May level. Apart from one HDPE deal reported this week on an urgent need, players did not report any trading activity so far as demand has been muted for some time. Buyers prefer to wait on the sidelines in order to see all the prices before engaging in new deals.
In the PP market, raffia and fibre materials of a major Middle Eastern producer were offered with decreases of US$60-80/ton compared to early May levels. Although there are no official announcements from other regional producers yet, materials of other Middle Eastern producers were already down by up to US$70/ton on a weekly basis. Similar to the PE market, trading activity was thin as demand has been dampened by decreased expectations. Indeed, these expectations are well supported by theoretical prices which indicate an ongoing premium on non-European origins in Turkey based on other global markets.
Middle Eastern producers followed the same pricing strategy in Egypt also, with initial June offers indicating noticeable decreases from last month. In the homo-PP market, June offers from the Middle East came down across the board. Following a major Middle Eastern producer, who pioneered the decreasing trend by revealing new homo-PP offers with US$40-50/ton decreases from the May level, other producers also pulled their prices down to match the same price level. Now, buyers are mostly sidelined from the market, expecting to hear the domestic producer’s new prices. In the PE market, a large Middle Eastern producer reduced June prices by US$40-50/ton for all PE products, a decrease amount which was in parallel with the reductions seen from the same producer in Turkey. This was followed by another regional producer who cut LLDPE price by US$50/ton from last month. Only one producer from the region tracked a different pricing strategy by raising their LDPE offers from a bonded warehouse by US$20/ton from last month. The producer justified higher prices to limited allocations.