Pakistan PP down 10% from early May on weak China, Europe markets

23 May 2012 11:23  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot import prices of polypropylene (PP) in Pakistan have slumped by $150/tonne (€119/tonne) or 9.7% since the start of May, undermined by weakness in the Chinese and European markets, industry sources said on Wednesday.

A Saudi major released late afternoon its June offer at $1,420/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Karachi for raffia/injection, following an offer late last week by an Indian producer of $1,410/tonne DEL (delivered) Lahore.

These offers are more than $100/tonne lower than the settlements for May PP, Karachi-based traders said.

“Even if the offers are lowered, there is no firm buying interest now. Converters are just waiting because of the volatile crude futures,” a Karachi-based trader said.

Pakistani converters have been buying on a need-to basis since April, when downstream demand started to weaken on an influx of Iranian non-woven bags, which have been smuggled across the border, market sources said. Iran lies southwest of Pakistan.

Most Karachi-based traders agreed that inventories in the domestic market for PP raffia resins are on the low side, but unclear price direction in the China and European markets weighed on import interest.

Chinese PP raffia import prices have been falling for straight weeks. Prices were down by $140/tonne or 9.4% from end-April to $1,345/tonne CFR China on 18 May, according to ICIS.

Pakistani converters are still waiting on the sidelines, waiting for the remainder of June offers to emerge, before deciding to procure at what price levels, but they reiterated the need to restock given lean inventories.

Buying ideas are largely kept below $1,400/tonne CFR Karachi, in line with the weak pricing in the domestic market, where imported cargoes were traded locally at Pakistani rupee (PRs) 77.00/kg ($841/tonne) EXWH last week, or an equivalent import parity of $1,380/tonne CFR Karachi.

($1 = €0.79 / $1 = PRs91.54)

By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359

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