Asian PP prices firm on stronger propylene, upcoming shutdowns

Spot PP prices gained ground over the past week in China and Southeast Asia as propylene feedstock costs recorded strong gains ahead of the annual cracker maintenance season in Asia, as per ChemOrbis. Buyers are generally bracing for further increases in the days ahead as recent increases in PP prices have yet to catch up with the rapid early January rise in spot propylene prices. A source at a Saudi Arabian producer reveled announcement of their February homo-PP prices at the end of last week with significant increases from their most recent January prices. “We announced our new prices earlier than usual owing to the Chinese New Year holidays. We managed to conclude some deals at prices close to our initial offer levels even though demand is generally limited before the holidays,” the source added. The producer cited firmer import prices and their limited availability as the main reasons for their price hikes. A trader reported that they received new offers from a major Indian producer with increases late last week, although they commented that they kept their own offers to the market unchanged. “We decided not to lift our offers in line with the higher prices we received from our supplier as demand is not very encouraging ahead of the holidays,” the trader stated. A converter manufacturing household appliances stated, “We expect to see further increases after the holidays as demand will pick up following the Chinese New Year while the upstream outlook remains firm.” Converters in Southeast Asia reported receiving higher offers from their local markets towards the end of last week while distributors in India anticipated seeing higher import prices in the coming days. An Indonesian converter operating in the packaging sector has received higher offers from domestic producers towards the end of last week, as per ChemOrbis. “Demand for our end products is not very encouraging these days and we are afraid that we will not be able to pass these increases onto our end product prices,” the converter complained. “We are planning to make some purchases over the near term in accordance with our needs,” reported a woven bag manufacturer who received an offer for Southeast Asian homo-PP injection at prices close to the upper end of the import range. “We are seeing normal demand for our end products for now,” the buyer stated. Another woven bag manufacturer stated, “We received higher prices from the import market at the end of last week and we believe that prices will remain firm given stronger upstream costs.” The buyer added that they are seeing good demand for their end products. Distributors in India reported that they are expecting to see higher import prices in the days ahead. “Overseas sellers mostly withdrew their prices towards the end of last week and we expect these suppliers to return to the market with increases next week,” a distributor in India reported. “PP demand is beginning to pick up in India,” the distributor added.
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