Pakistan flood relief may see rise in polymers demand - traders

06 August 2010 10:30  [Source: ICIS news]

People being evacuated on boats in Pakistan worst floods in 80 yearsSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Pakistan could see a temporary surge in demand for polymers needed to house and feed over 4m people affected by deadly floods, the worst in 80 years, market sources said on Friday.

More than 1,500 people have been killed in a week of flooding that has swept away entire villages and inundated millions of acres of farm land, according to media reports.

Authorities and non-government organisations are scurrying to provide relief to 4m people across the flooded region, accessible mostly by air or boat.

“In the near term, we could see a rise in demand for polymers, notably polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sheets for shelters, and polystyrene (PS) containers for food packaging [and fertilizers],” said a source close to a polymer producer.

However, in the longer term, demand for polymers could be hit due to the ravages wreaked on agricultural output, said a polymer trader.

“If...crops are decimated in the flood hit areas, it would mean less demand for raffia grade PP used in food-grain packaging, as Pakistan may be forced to import food grains,” he said.

None of the petrochemical plants in Pakistan have been heard to have been affected by the floods, sources said.

Pakistan Petrochemical Industry’s PS plant and Engro Polymers’ PVC plant are both located in the southern port city of Karachi, which has not been affected by the flooding so far, they said.

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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