The activity in Italy’s polymer markets has started to wind down now that players are preparing to halt their operations for a summer holiday break, as per the pricing service of ChemOrbis. Many converters say that they will shut for at least two weeks starting from this Friday until the last week of August while some have already moved to the sidelines, resulting in a limited number of offers and deals reported this week.
Nevertheless, all markets are about to enter the holiday period on a firm note, supported by the upstream markets, widespread stock replenishment activities as well as the global upturn. A distributor offering PVC in the local spot market said, “We are almost sold out for August as demand has been good recently with buyers stocking up in the PVC market out of concerns about seeing further increases in September.”
The distributor also said that he only has a little stock left for the post-holiday period. A South European producer commented, “Our customers are not complaining about the €70/ton increase we have asked for August.” A South European PET producer also expressed satisfaction with demand. “We are selling with monthly increases of €80-100/ton in the local market.”
The producer also expects this firming trend to remain in place despite the holiday season. “We will keep our prices stable without conceding to discounts. The euro/dollar parity is also helping us retain our firm stance as the low euro is not rendering imports competitive,” a company source cited. Another South European PET producer, who seeks €120/ton increases for August, told ChemOrbis, “A lot of converters are planning to shut only for a week, so demand is not expected to be entirely disrupted by the holidays.”
In the PE market, a distributor offering Middle Eastern LDPE commented, “We sold a good amount of material in July and we are still making good sales. Some packaging manufacturers said that their end product demand has been good. Even though they already secured PE cargoes in early July, they have bought some more this week prior to the holidays, accepting to pay price hikes of up to €200/ton over last month.”
A similar situation is in place in the rest of the markets even though some sellers are complaining about slower buying interest ahead of the holidays. A distributor offering €100/ton increases for PS and €150/ton increases for PP lamented that demand is almost absent this week. He said, “We may manage to make some sales at the end of the month.” Another distributor offering West European PP €130-150/ton higher reiterated that demand is very weak and he is not hopeful about achieving sales prior to mid August.
A buyer receiving price hikes of €130-140/ton for August PS offers from his West European suppliers, meanwhile, said, “We have not accepted these levels yet. However, we want to close our deals before the end of this week as we are worried about further increases once we return to our desks.” A packaging manufacturer also said, “After having built some stocks in early July, we have bought some PP cargoes again this week, accepting to pay €150/ton hikes over last month.”