Focus article by Matt Tudball
LONDON (ICIS)--The majority of prices in the Turkish polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) market were unchanged ahead of the Eid al Adha holiday, though there was a small increase in the number of enquiries and sentiment turned more bullish for the second half of the month, according to sources.
Several sources on the sell side of the market said the number of enquiries from buyers had increased slightly, but very few of these turned into actual deals.
It appeared as if buyers were just trying to get an indication for price direction after Eid, which runs from 9-19 September in Turkey.
“I have had lots of negotiations today and in the recent days, and no particular buying interest,” one Iranian PP producer said on Thursday.
Market sentiment also showed a slight improvement compared to the period after the failed coup attempt on 15 July.
September has already seen some offers from countries such as India, Russia and Israel, as well as some Iranian PP producers, some of who had directed attention away from Turkey because of weak demand.
One Iranian low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) producer said it increased its prices to buyers this week, but there was no confirmation of higher levels heard from the wider market.
Stock levels in Turkey are thought to be very low and most sources said it is only a matter of time before buyers have to return and restock.
The latest data from statistics agency Turkstat showed a 28% month-on-month drop for imports of PP, HDPE and LLDPE from June to July this year.
(CFR NE and SE Asian ethylene and propylene prices)
With Eid over, buyers should have no obvious reason not to build inventories, though the Turkish market has often defied normal buying trends over the last couple of years.
Thoughts now turn to the second half of October, and how prices will react after the holiday.
Most sources believe there will be some form of price movement in the week of the 19 September once players have returned from holiday, though others think it may be October before price trends emerge.
“After Bayram we’ll see how the market will react. First week of October or the last week as September we should see some trends emerge,” a Turkish trader said.
“For October we have mixed feelings about prices, personally we expect improvement but from buyers there is not much demand,” the trader added.
If the expectations of the majority of market participants’ expectations prove to be correct, the Turkish market should see some firming of prices after the Eid holiday, though how long any bullish sentiment remains in the Turkish market waits to be seen.Pictured above: Istanbul, Turkey, view to Galata Bridge and New Mosque.