Net demand from the two biggest polyethylene import markets in Asia - China and India - will decrease, leading to a displacement of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian material globally, according to market participants on the sidelines of the Asian Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC). Traders put net 2016 import estimates of China at slightly more than 8 mln mt/year while India is expected to import just under 1 mln mt this year, about 20-30% less than last year's volumes. Upcoming capacity in China, Iran and India will amount to around 3 mln mt/year. They will dominate the commodity grade polyethylene market for year to come as Middle Eastern producers starts to manufacture more of the specialty PE grades, the market sources added.
As the biggest polyethylene demand center- China, gradually imports less, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian supplies to China would need to find a new home, according to market observers. Traders surveyed mentioned West Africa, and other hard-to-reach markets such as Bangladesh as their next supply targets.