23 October 2013 16:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Business in the African polyethylene (PE) market is muted as buyers await the announcement of producers' November price offers in the coming days, market participants said this week.
Many feel that buyers are holding back on the expectation of November prices softening.
“Things are quiet,” a distributor in the east African market said on Tuesday. “No prices are out yet for November, but there’s speculation that they'll come down”.
A distributor in the West African market said: “There’s a wait and see mode. Nigeria has very bad demand.”
The source attributed this lacklustre demand and expectation of prices softening to three main reasons.
“First, suppliers [in the Middle East] have been offering low prices [in October]," the source said. "This puts doubt [about the strength of the market] in customers’minds. Second, product has arrived late [at its destinations] after the port congestion [at Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, druing the summer]. Third, customers inventories are high.”
However, a producer disagreed with this view and expects prices to hold steady in November.
“My personal feeling is that the market will be stable in the next few weeks,” the source said.
“I don't see a further fall in prices. Inventories are balanced. Demand has been picking up in the last couple of days [after the Eid holiday] Buyers have been holding back too long, they have to buy now.”
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