Turkey PE bottoms out as poor economic performance dampens sentiment

04 May 2018 11:42 Source:ICIS News

Lira Notes and Coins

LONDON (ICIS)--Turkish polyethylene (PE) prices are stable to down as demand falters following the continuing poor performance of the Turkish lira, according to sources this week.

Repeated PE falls since February have left prices low in a weak economy.

Some players now think this is the bottom and that they are unlikely to move while the value of the lira continues to struggle.

Price stability is expected for the rest of May. 

Middle East producers will begin limiting their working hours later in the month, and this will limit supply although this is expected to be balanced by poor demand.

Supply levels are ample and unlikely to weaken in the short term, so buyers are comfortable keeping purchases to a minimum.

Lack of confidence in the Turkish economy may mean that business will remain subdued, at all levels, in the coming months.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is currently very weak due to oversupply, and European sellers are taking advantage of the euro's strength against the lira to sell competitively priced material into Turkey.

This has resulted in an oversaturated market and forced sellers from other regions to reduce their offers to compete.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is the strongest of the grades and remains in balance due to slightly reduced supply.

Sellers have shifted high density production over to HDPE 100 pipe, as prices have been soaring in China.

However, poor demand in Turkey has balanced this.

HDPE 100 pipe prices have collapsed in Turkey as government buyers have ceased tendering for product, drastically reducing demand in the country, and prices have fallen as a result.

Iranian offers have been reduced due to ethylene shortages, but this has not affected pricing levels because demand is low and other sellers have made up for the deficit.

ICIS Editorial Chart goes here

PE is the most widely used plastic in the world, primarily found in packaging including plastic bags, plastic films and geomembranes.

Pictured: Lira notes and coins. The Turkish currency has sharply weakened against other major currencies
Source: Veronica Garbutt/REX/Shutterstock

By Ben Lake