In Asia, spot propylene prices have firmed up by nearly $30/ton on FOB Korea basis week over week, with the total increase amount reaching almost $100/ton since the beginning of August. The main reason driving prices up despite sliding crude oil prices was tight availability, which was triggered by unexpected shutdowns at several producers’ plants. On NYMEX, crude oil prices dipped from the early month level of $81.34/barrel to as low as $71.92/barrel on August 31st.
As the upward movement in spot propylene prices continues to push PP production costs higher, the global PP markets continue to defy the losses in the energy markets, with regular suppliers revealing their September PP offers with increases to Turkey and Egypt, supported by the increases they have made in the Chinese market for September cargoes.
In Egypt, where the PP market witnessed monthly decreases of $50-70/ton on the initial August prices from the Middle East, regional suppliers have started to return to the market with higher September offers this week. A couple of Middle Eastern producers lifted their import PP prices by $40/ton and $70/ton compared to their August levels. Egypt’s PP market was under upward pressure when considering the theoretical calculations based on the Middle Eastern offers given to China, where these origins were initially offered with three-digit hikes for September. The domestic producer, OPC, also announced a price hike of EGP400/ton (approx. $72/ton) on their August offers, in line with the higher import level.
When looking at Turkey’s import PP market, buyers are receiving initial September import offers from the Middle East with increases of more than $100/ton in comparison with the early August levels. Some of this increase took place over the month of August as propylene prices continuously increased in Asia raising expectations of rising PP prices in that region. Nonetheless, no done deals were reported at current levels for now as converters in Turkey have currently moved to the sidelines to let the Ramadan holiday pass before engaging in new purchases.