Majority of market players anticipate a firm start for polyethylene in global markets amid persistently rising feedstock costs.
Softer demand in Southeast Asia has been seen in the last few weeks of the year. This is because of the impending implementation on January 1, of the ASEAN-6 free trade agreement, which will largely eliminate duties/tariffs on polymers. However, markets are expected to open on a higher note in January as feedstock costs firm up and buying sentiments in China remain bullish. Prices hikes could be as high as US$40-50/ton. Domestic PE prices in China have shown a steady increase since the middle of December, with prices for LDPE and LLDPE showing increases of about US$70/ton. Offers from overseas have also been hiked by 15-45 dollars, in line with these increased prices amid rising crude and feedstock ethylene costs.