LONDON (ICIS)--African polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) prices are stable as negotiations remain limited on the back of many players observing Ramadan and the seasonal rainy season, sources said this week.
Buying interest has therefore remained low.
Ramadan started on 17 May and will finish on 15 June.
A key polymer market in the region, South Africa, is also entering the low winter season.
Meanwhile, Kenya has been suffered from flooding in some areas due to heavy rainfall.
Expectation for June is that African polymers prices will remain stable to soft as both Ramadan and the rainy season continue through the month.
One seller said that is had seen some positive sentiments for the coming weeks, but most players are expecting another quiet month.
Tightness in the PP market has balanced the weak demand, preventing continued price drops.
There was a suggestion that raffia prices have softened on the current high end price by $20/tonne, but this could not be confirmed across the wider market.
The PE market is softer for low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) but prices may have bottomed out.
There is potential for some further softening but it is unlikely to be large movements.
East Africa may also have seen some reduction in the top end price that buyers are willing to pay, also by $20/tonne but this could not be confirmed.
South Africa prices continued to roll over, but depreciation of the rand means that sellers are likely to make higher offers in June to compensate for the lost value.
Nervy global political climate is convincing some investors to divest from the growing economy of South Africa. #
A seller said that the government needed to intervene to slow the currency slide but wasn't at fault for the initial fall.
The South African economy had been enjoying a strong start to the year, following the establishment of a new government.
This follows the removal of former president Jacob Zuma from the ruling ANC party and the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa as his successor.
Pictured: People and vehicles wade through water in Nairobi in April. The rainy season has caused heavy flooding in Kenya
Source: Xinhua News Agency/REX/Shutterstock
Focus article by Ben Lake