LONDON (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) sellers are looking to shift volumes in May, as demand dwindles again, several buyers said Wednesday.
“They’re [producers] trying to shift volumes,” said one large buyer.
“Every week we’re seeing a new picture,” said another. “A couple [producers] are calling me asking why I’m not taking all my volumes.”
“Customers have stopped buying,” a producer confirmed.
May started quite strongly, according to several sources, but then the same pattern as April emerged, and buying has been thin.
Demand in the first quarter of 2017 was very strong, and buyers are thought to have taken stock to guard against potential shortages during a series of planned cracker and polymer shutdowns. These outages are now coming to an end and none of the feared production issues occurred, so converters are living off stock.
Expectations of a lower ethylene contract in June are also leading to a similar move in PE pricing, so buyers are hesitating before buying, as they expect prices to be lower in June.
Monthly PE business is still under discussion.
PE is used in packaging, the manufacture of household goods, and also in the agricultural industry.