Polyethylene prices in Asia, particularly China were depressed in the previous week, falling by about US$10 for HDPE, US$30 for LDPE, US$20 for LLDPE. Price of all polyethylenes has softened in Asia on lackluster trading. Slow market movement was seen due to preparation of accounts during end of year; and on hand-to-mouth buying in many countries. Traders await the new year when material movement will increase as trade between the ASEAN-6 nations will become duty-free along with abolition of custom duties for LLDPE trade with China. Uncertainty over demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in China in mid-February, has led to hesitation from buyers in China.
In anticipation of the expected price dip, buyers had reduced buying and preferred to wait and watch, as they sellers started to offer discounts. However, crude oil markets recovered as the week progressed, and ethylene prices continued to firm up, PE market sentiments did an about turn. Sellers offers have started to steady and inch up amid a revival in buying interest. It seems that with increased offers, PE prices are anticipated to increase above last week levels. However, as lackluster demand continues, this price hike is likely to be unsustainable.