SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot polyethylene (PE) prices in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are expected to be stable-to-soft on weak demand, despite continued bullishness in the Chinese markets.
Resin demand in the GCC has remained largely sluggish due to weak offtake from key downstream sectors, including food packaging, market sources said.
On 20 October, linear low density PE (LLDPE) film prices in the region were assessed at $1,130-1,150/tonne CFR (cost and freight) GCC, down $10/tonne at the low end of the previous week’s price range, according to ICIS data.
High density PE (HDPE) film and low density PE (LDPE) film prices were assessed at $1,140-1,180/tonne CFR GCC and at $1,290-1,320/tonne CFR GCC, stable from the week before, ICIS data showed.
Suppliers initially hiked prices for October, in line with the uptrend in Asian prices, but take-up was limited.
Some of them are looking at reducing offers for November amid lacklustre demand in recent months, while others are eyeing a possible rollover of October offers for next month.
November offers are expected to be announced next week.
In China, spot HDPE film availability has remained tight amid some unscheduled turnarounds at domestic plants amid stronger demand after the week-long holiday in the country on 1-8 October.
This condition boosted China’s imports of the material from the GCC, thereby, capping the region’s spot allocations to other markets, according to some suppliers.
A few GCC sellers are keen to maintain offers as they were able to realise stronger netbacks in Asia.
Meanwhile, a seasonal increase in production of downstream HDPE pipes amid strong demand also limited HDPE film availability in the Middle East, some market sources said.
Focus article by Veena Pathare