16 March 2012 05:53 [Source: ICIS news]
By Ong Sheau Ling
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of Iran’s polymer imports are on a firm uptrend, with only South Korea left as its main supplier of polyethyelene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) resins amid a further tightening of international sanctions on the Middle Eastern country this year, industry sources said on Friday.
Prices of high density polyethylene (HDPE) black pipe grade in Iran have been on an upswing since the start of the year, rising at an average of $50/tonne (€38/tonne) every two to three weeks.
“I have to confess that I can only import from
“Going through a Dubai-based trader for South Korean material seems difficult as well. We have to engage directly with a South Korean supplier,” another Iranian importer said.
Offers for various HDPE pipe grades of South Korean origins are currently at $1,650-1,800/tonne CFR Iran, up $50-100/tonne from two weeks ago, when a cargo was sold at $1,600/tonne CFR Iran for HDPE 100 natural grade, market sources said.
For PP block copolymer grade from
In April 2011 to January 2012, about 31,000 tonnes of PP were exported from United Arab Emirates (UAE) to
From the start of 2012,
For HDPE pipe grades alone, about 10,000 tonnes of South Korean material have been imported by
Demand in the Iranian market for resins remains robust ahead of the Iranian new year celebration amid the import shortage, Iranian importers said.
But a lack of US dollars and hikes in bank interest rates quoted by the Iranian central bank hampered buying interest, an Iranian polymer importer said.
“We could only buy small lots of a couple of hundred tonnes at a time because of tight cash flow. In the event that we do not have enough US dollars, we will transact in Korean won for the [South Korean] material,” the importer said.
The Iranian central bank has been raising interest rates to discourage further purchases of US dollar that is weakening the rial.
Before the recent tightening of the sanctions on
But in January this year, the EU decided to impose sanctions on its central bank and other financial institutions on any dealings with
“Although getting payments and our vessels insured maybe troublesome and getting more difficult, we are still able to sell to
GCC-based PE, PP producers that used to be active exporters to
Most government-related insurance companies of these countries are also unwilling to insure any vessels heading to
Some Asian traders said European vessels are likely to be banned to disembark at Iranian ports, with effect from 1 May, which are causing spikes in shipping costs. Freight rates from
“The higher [PP] prices in
Depending on how long this tight supply situation in
($1 = €0.76)
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