30 June 2009 06:56 [Source: ICIS news]
By Chow Bee Lin
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China's demand for imported polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) has tapered off in the past two to three weeks as buyers strongly resisted price hikes, industry sources said on Tuesday.
The country is the world’s largest importer of PE and PP.
“There seems to be a stand-off between buyers and sellers now. Many importers decline to buy large volumes at current prices, but suppliers are not willing to drop their prices,” a Shanghai-based trader said.
“Many resin producers in Asia and the ?xml:namespace>
Some high density polyethylene (HDPE) grades were offered up as high as $1,280/tonne (€909/tonne) into
The relatively tight supply of PE and PP grades due to planned and unplanned shutdowns of regional plants from April to June also supports suppliers’ call for higher prices, a PP producer and a PE maker in southeast Asia said.
Despite the tight supply, Chinese importers are hesitant to place new orders because of weak converter demand, a trader in
“Demand for almost all kind of resins is very weak in south China as most of the end-users here are export-oriented and the overseas markets are still weak,” the trader in Hong Kong said.
Many Chinese traders were holding low inventories in anticipation that Sinopec’s joint venture plant in
“If these plants don’t start up as expected, prices are likely to fluctuate in a tight range at current levels,” a second Shanghai-based trader said.
Despite expectations of fresh supply hitting the market, PE and PP end-users in
Some Chinese traders said they were concerned that regional supplies could build up again if import demand from
However, some Asian producers and traders said any downward correction would be moderate as
Nevertheless, Chinese importers would likely find themselves in a buyers’ market when the new plants start up, a third Shanghai-based trader said.
When there is excess supply and weak demand from the export-oriented end-users in
On the other hand, Asian and Middle East producers were likely to divert their exports from
“If the prices in
($1 = €0.71)
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