Players in Thailand report that the country’s local markets for homo-PP and PVC have increased their premium over import prices following a period in which prices had traded close to par while local PVC had actually traded at a discount relative to import materials, as per ChemOrbis. From late April until the end of May, local PP prices in Thailand carried a significant albeit steadily declining premium of around US$30-70/ton over import cargoes. For the month of June, Thai homo-PP held a small premium of around US$10-20/ton over imports, with import cargoes even briefly gaining a premium over local cargoes towards the start of the month. However, strong increases from local sellers pushed the premium for local cargoes over imports back above US$50/ton during the past week.
A distributor based in Thailand commented, “Domestic PP producers are seeking higher prices this week and are unwilling to concede to discounts given their lack of stock pressure. Demand is not all that great, but the tightness in supply is balancing out the effect of sluggish demand.” Another distributor added, “Domestic producers are seeking increases and we believe that lower priced cargoes are already disappearing from the market.” In the PVC market, local cargoes in Thailand regained their premium over imports after trading at a discount throughout the month of June. In late April, local PVC had been trading with a US$90-110/ton premium over imports, but this premium faded rapidly over the course of May and by the start of June, import prices had gained a premium of around US$30-60/ton over local prices. At the start of July, local prices regained a $60/ton premium over imports as local increases were announced well above the increases seen in the import market. According to ChemOrbis, distributors and converters reported seeing THB3000/ton (US$96/ton) hikes on local PVC prices at the start of July. “Producers raised their prices owing to limited supply and the depreciation of the Thai baht against the US dollar. We are not very optimistic about the demand outlook for the next few weeks as we think that buyers will offer resistance to higher prices,” a distributor reported. A converter manufacturing plastic pipes said, “We have been successful in reflecting higher raw material costs onto our end product prices for the last few months. However, we are cautious about purchasing now as it is currently the low season for our end products. We are feeling comfortable with our stock levels and we plan to observe the market for a while before making our next move.”