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Global HDPE Market Faces Downturn in April 2024 Amid Oversupply Conditions
Global HDPE Market Faces Downturn in April 2024 Amid Oversupply Conditions

Global HDPE Market Faces Downturn in April 2024 Amid Oversupply Conditions

  • 16-Apr-2024 5:26 PM
  • Journalist: Xiang Hong

In initial half of April 2024, the global High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) market experienced a downturn due to oversupply conditions. European sentiment remained unaffected by higher April contracts for HDPE, as demand decreased after a three-month uptrend. Similarly Asian market also witnessed a moderate trend amid sufficient supplies. Many Middle Eastern producers lowered their April offers, considering the short working days due to the Ramdan and Eid ul-Fitr holiday, leading to reduced prices in Asia and Europe.

The European HDPE prices declined by approximately 2% during H1 of April, mainly due to weak domestic demand. Manufacturers faced cost pressures from the sluggish market, making it difficult to adjust prices to cover production costs. Despite rising Ethylene costs, most suppliers reduced prices due to improved availability. HDPE prices decreased in April due to increased availability and a shift in the supply-demand balance favoring buyers. Some suppliers initially aimed for stable prices but had to decrease them due to consumer resistance and lower shipping costs.

HDPE prices have been falling over the past two weeks and are now below Europe’s spot ranges. This, coupled with the short month of April, may hinder sellers' attempts to recover margin losses. Although Crude oil prices rose due to supply concerns, global HDPE markets still face subdued demand from downstream sectors. Players anticipate pressure on regional HDPE markets due to the holiday-shortened month and incoming imports. Buyers expect lower prices in May and June, leading to possible discounts later in April.

Further, European producers are concerned about increased HDPE imports from Asia, particularly from China, which could exacerbate the supply accumulation amid economic challenges. The pressure is expected to persist, especially with the potential arrival of Chinese HDPE in European markets while the US will remain a key supplier due to its feedstock advantage and oversupply situation.

During this timeframe, prices have remained relatively stable in the Asian market, especially in China and India, since late March, as subdued activity and ample domestic supply weighed on the market. The abundant availability of Chinese products has also influenced Southeast Asia, with offers from this source maintaining a competitive advantage at the lower end of the imported HDPE market. Additionally, increasing Ethylene costs have prompted local sellers to raise their prices in the Asian market. However, stagnant demand in India and a lack of supply issues across the region may keep market sentiment subdued in the short term, according to industry players. Nevertheless, the upward trend in oil prices is expected to provide some support to the HDPE market despite reduced purchasing interest in the region.

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