SEA’s PP market balanced between firm costs, sluggish demand
Players in Southeast Asia’s PP market report that prices are tracking a mostly stable trend this week as the combination of slower than expected demand and stronger upstream costs are preventing any significant price movements as per the pricing service of ChemOrbis.
“We are offering Taiwanese PP at prices close to the upper end of the overall ranges, but we are willing to negotiate with buyers placing firm bids. We think that prices will remain stable over the short term but we are not feeling optimistic about our prospects for the month ahead,” a trader based in Taiwan reported.
A source at a Taiwanese producer said that they kept their PP prices stable over the past week. “We had been expecting to see better demand from Indonesia ahead of the month of Ramadan, but we have been disappointed with the number of inquiries we have received from Indonesian buyers. We do not expect to see any real improvement in demand in July or August as we think that converters will continue to purchase according to their needs,” a producer source commented.
A Vietnamese converter manufacturing woven bags reported, “We received offers for Indian and South Korean raffia at levels we found to be quite high. We are only interested in purchasing small amounts to cover our immediate needs and will make some inquiries in the local market to see if we can locate more attractive prices.”
Prices inside the region’s local markets were mostly stable, although a distributor in Thailand reported that domestic PP prices rose THB2000/ton ($65/ton) owing to reduced availability stemming from maintenance shutdowns on the part of domestic producers.
A Malaysian converter active in the packaging sector said, “The period before Ramadan is usually a high season for the packaging sector, but we have not seen any real improvement in demand so far. We do not expect to see any real changes in demand over the coming week and we are sticking to the sidelines for now as we are comfortable with our stock levels.” An Indonesian woven bag manufacturer made similar comments, saying, “Our stocks are sufficient to meet our needs until mid-July and we are not looking to purchase more cargoes. We are not feeling confident about the demand outlook and are unsatisfied with the current state of demand for our end products.”
According to ChemOrbis, a distributor in the Philippines also reported seeing largely steady prices on the week. “Limited availability, especially for PP film, is keeping PP prices firm even though demand is fairly quiet,” the distributor stated.