LONDON (ICIS)--African polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) prices have been stable this week but sentiment is weakening and many players are now expecting prices to soften.
Supply levels have improved across all grades, although some, especially linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were already plentiful.
Raffia and high density polyethylene (HDPE) have both recently been tight.
Demand remains subdued in the midst of a traditional summer lull and the continuing rainy season across east and west Africa.
Price stability is being maintained by a lack of new offers on the market.
Middle Eastern producers have completed June allocations.
Most buyers are now holding off purchasing until August.
Expectation is that suppliers from the Middle East will offer lower prices but, until then, they are unwilling to make purchases for fear of missing out on larger discounts.
A weakening Asian market is expected to play a major role in August offers in Africa.
Prices are not expected to change for the remainder of July, despite some lower offers being made.
A supplier said that it was already willing to discount current prices up to $20-40/tonne, depending on product, in an effort to move stock.
The direction of the market is likely to remain vague until August offers have been released.
Focus article by Ben Lake