Is it time for price corrections?

By Malini Hariharan

After experiencing steep price hikes over the last few weeks should seller start preparing for a fall? Signs of resistance and a slowdown in buying are being seen across a few products suggesting that price corrections may be imminent.

ICIS news reports today that the price rally in PE and PP in South Asia and the Midle East may reverse as buyer resistance is building up. The supply situation is also improving as plants in the Middle East have started ramping up operating rates.

Buyers in these markets are also taking cues from the Chinese market where buying is slowing down ahead of the Chinese new year holidays in mid-February.

And another ICIS news report yesterday talked of paraxylene (PX) markets turning bearish in the short-term as supply has lengthened following an easing of demand.

A Sinopec source is reported to have said that despite production issues in the Middle East and China and the heavy turnaround schedule in Japan, end-users were not buying as they did not have any immediate requirement to cover.

But the one factor that could halt or ease price corrections is naphtha which is running strong at around $750/tonne cfr Japan on tight supply.

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