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Global LLDPE Market Dips Amid Excess Supply and Low Demand in April 2024
Global LLDPE Market Dips Amid Excess Supply and Low Demand in April 2024

Global LLDPE Market Dips Amid Excess Supply and Low Demand in April 2024

  • 22-Apr-2024 6:15 PM
  • Journalist: Jung Hoon

In the initial weeks of April 2024, the market for Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) witnessed an excess of supply causing a decline globally. Although LLDPE contracts in Europe rose in April, overall sentiment remained stable as demand eased following three months of growth. Likewise, the Asian market experienced stable price trend due to sufficient supplies. Many Middle Eastern producers adjusted their April prices to accommodate shorter working days during Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, leading to price cuts in both Asia and Europe.

During the first half of April, European prices for LLDPE experienced a decrease of approximately 1%, primarily attributable to subdued domestic demand and an excess of supply. Manufacturers faced difficulties aligning prices with production costs in a sluggish market, resulting in cost pressures. Despite the escalating costs of feedstock Ethylene, several suppliers chose to reduce prices due to improved availability.  The decline in LLDPE prices in April was influenced by increased availability and a shift in the supply-demand balance, which favored buyers. While certain suppliers initially intended to keep prices stable, they eventually had to lower them due to resistance from consumers and reduced shipping expenses.

During the first week, prices remained steady; however, LLDPE prices have been declining since the second week, now falling below Europe's spot ranges. This, coupled with the shortened month of April, could hinder sellers' attempts to recover margin losses. Despite the rise in Crude oil prices due to supply concerns, the global LLDPE markets are still grappling with muted demand from downstream sectors such as construction, automotive, and packaging. Market participants anticipate pressure on regional LLDPE markets due to the shortened holiday month due to shorter working days during Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr holidays and imports. Buyers are expecting lower prices in May and June, potentially leading to discounts later in April.

Furthermore, European producers are concerned about the increase in LLDPE imports from Asia, particularly from China, which could exacerbate the supply surplus amidst economic uncertainties. This pressure is expected to persist, especially with the potential influx of Chinese LLDPE into European markets, while the US continues to be a major supplier, capitalizing on its feedstock advantage and oversupply situation.

During this period, LLDPE prices have remained relatively stable in the Asian market, particularly in China and India, since late March, due to limited activity and abundant domestic supply, which has exerted pressure on the market. The ample availability of Chinese products has also influenced Southeast Asia, with offers from this source maintaining a competitive edge at the lower end of the imported LLDPE market. Additionally, the increase in Ethylene costs has prompted local sellers to raise their prices in the Asian market. However, subdued demand in India and a lack of supply issues across the region may keep market sentiment restrained in the short term, according to industry players. Nonetheless, the upward trend in oil prices is expected to provide some support to the LLDPE market despite diminished purchasing interest in the region.

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