New PP and PE prices started to be announced for September in the Middle East and Africa this week, according to ChemOrbis. The latest offers levels from suppliers point to considerable price cuts when compared to August.
In Saudi Arabia, players started to receive new September prices for PP and PE from local producers with visible declines in tandem with initial expectations. According to a trader, softer September expectations were based on the globally decreasing trend, retreating costs, slow demand as well as the lower Saudi Arabian prices which surfaced in other global markets such as Turkey. A distributor reported that a major local producer announced their September homo-PP raffia and injection prices with SAR788/ton (US$210/ton) decreases from August.
In the United Arab Emirates, September PP raffia and inj prices came with visible decreases from August. A trader received new offers from the Emirati producer with decreases of US$130-160/ton from the last August offers they received from the producer. “Fresh prices emerged with significant drops in line with our expectations. Demand remains limited while supplies are comfortable. We are not feeling confident about the near term outlook due to volatile energy markets,” he commented.
Meanwhile, the local Emirati producer’s new September prices indicated US$130-160/ton decreases for homo-PP and US$70-100/ton drops for LLDPE film and US$190/ton decreases for HDPE film when compared to last month as per ChemOrbis pricing service. A trader in the Emirates who got offers from a major Saudi Arabian producer said, “The producer’s offers indicate US$150-180/ton drops from their August offers for PP and PE. Overall market conditions continue to be stagnant as demand remains weak. We are struggling when concluding sales since supplies are comfortable.”
In the import market, distributors received new September PP prices from a major Saudi producer with decreases of up to US$260/ton from August. Meanwhile, a trader mentioned, “We expect that demand will be better this month as buyers need to replenish their stocks after delaying their purchases for a long time.” In Jordan, a buyer reported, “A Saudi Arabian producer issued US$50/ton price decreases when compared to August. Demand is still poor amidst ample supplies. We expect to see similar decreases from other regional suppliers in the coming days.” Players in Lebanon were yet to receive September prices from Middle Eastern suppliers. Trading activities were reportedly limited as most buyers continued to wait on the sidelines in anticipation of receiving lower prices.
Looking at Africa, a film product converter in Kenya received new September PP and PE prices from Middle Eastern and Indian producers. He stated, “These new prices indicate decreases from August levels. Lower prices were already expected in Kenya given weaker crude oil prices and slow demand.” Crude oil prices on the NYMEX settled below the US$40/barrel threshold last week after more than 6 years before rebounding back to hover slightly above US$45/barrel by the middle of this week.
“Buyers are currently acting cautiously as they are still waiting to hear other producers’ September offers. On the other hand, the significantly weaker local currency against the US dollar hinders import activities. Meanwhile, there are plenty of supplies in the market and we see weak end product demand. Our customers are cautious as prices are anticipated to record further decreases in the days ahead,” the buyer opined.