Weak PE, PVC demand in India weighing on sentiment in Asia

Players in India report that demand for PE and PVC is weak in the country these days owing to the lingering effects of a prolonged monsoon season, as per Chemorbis. As demand for these products generally picks up during the last months of the year, post Diwali holidays, unseasonably weak demand from Indian buyers has dampened sentiment across Asia- poor demand in the domestic market is leading Indian producers to take a greater interest in exports at a time when exporters from other parts of Asia are facing greater difficulties concluding deals in the Indian market. In the PVC market, sluggish demand pushed down prices in India's import and domestic markets. A domestic producer reported to have conceded additional price reductions of INR1000-2000/ton (US$22-43/ton) to conclude deals in the local market this week, as they face difficulty securing deals despite having already agreed to a price cut of INR2000/ton (US$43/ton) earlier in the month. In the import market, offers for mainstream Asian origins on a CIF India, cash equivalent basis declined US$10-30/ton on the week as sellers offering at the high end of the range withdrew offers in response to a lack of buying interest. A distributor who received an offer for Taiwanese PVC at the lower end of the overall range stated that they are bidding for an additional US$10/ton and that they expect to hear a response from their supplier soon. Weaker PVC demand from India has been one contributing factor to softer January outlooks in both China and Southeast Asia. Major Asian producers announced their January offers to the Chinese market this week at prices stable to US$10/ton lower when compared with their December done deal levels after they had initially targeted initial January offers with increases of US$20/ton from December. Although costs remain high, exporters felt that they had to give some ground on prices as demand in both China and India has been sluggish recently. In Southeast Asia, slower export demand has left regional producers with larger than expected allocations for their local markets, leading some players to predict lower domestic prices for January as sellers are expecting a difficult month for their export business. In the PE market, distributors in India are complaining that supplies are building up in the local market as a result of persistently slow demand over the past few weeks. A distributor who reported receiving some import offers for Middle Eastern LLDPE film this week said that they are not interested in making any purchases for now given weak demand inside India, while another distributor complained that their sales to the local market have fallen off by nearly 40% when compared with the past month. With stocks accumulating in the local market, Indian PE producers have begun to take a greater interest in export opportunities. One distributor in the country reported that Indian PE producers have started to shift some of their allocation to alternate markets such as China, Turkey, and the Middle East. Chinese traders confirmed this news, reporting that irregular offers for Indian LLDPE film and HDPE yarn have surfaced in the Chinese market this week.
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