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Global PP Market Turns Bearish in April with Cheap Raw Materials and High Supply
Global PP Market Turns Bearish in April with Cheap Raw Materials and High Supply

Global PP Market Turns Bearish in April with Cheap Raw Materials and High Supply

  • 10-May-2024 4:35 PM
  • Journalist: Bob Duffler

In the month of April 2024, the United States Polypropylene (PP) market experienced a period of stability, maintaining consistent prices. However, the first week of May marked a shift in this trajectory as prices began to decline. This downward trend was primarily driven by sluggish demand from key downstream industries, notably the automobile and construction sectors. Reduced car sales and decreased activity levels in commercial and civil engineering projects contributed to weakening demand for PP. Over the course of April, the price of PP decreased by approximately 2.2%, influenced by factors such as lower production costs due to cheaper feedstock Propylene, subdued demand from downstream industries, destocking activities, and ample material availability within the country. Furthermore, the decrease in freight rates between Asia to North America and other routes during the month further supported the declining price trend for PP in the US market.

Similarly, the Brazilian PP market also witnessed a downward trajectory in the first week of May, influenced by ample product availability within the country, largely attributed to the influx of cheaper imports from the USA. This trend mirrored the decline observed in the US market and was driven by similar factors, including lower production costs due to reduced feedstock Propylene prices, weak demand from downstream industries, destocking activities, and abundant PP availability within the country. Additionally, the decrease in freight rates during the month further bolstered the prevailing price trend for PP in Brazil.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the PP market experienced continued price declines in the first week of May, characterized by subdued demand sentiments and reduced production costs stemming from cheaper raw materials. Spot prices faced downward pressure as demand weakened throughout the week, with key downstream sectors showing limited interest in material. The PP market also grappled with increasing supplies and delays in import cargoes, adding further pressure on prices. Despite challenges such as line-up congestions in North European terminals and adverse weather conditions affecting South African ports, key ports like Bremerhaven and Rotterdam maintained positive operational outcomes.

In the Middle East, particularly in the Saudi Arabian market, there was a notable 1% weekly decline in the price of PP during the first week of May. This decrease was primarily attributed to lower production costs resulting from a corresponding 1% decrease in the price of feedstock Propylene. Additionally, the decline in upstream Crude Oil prices by approximately 2% during the week further influenced the downward trend in PP prices. This decline in crude oil prices was linked to rising oil supply, as indicated by the increase in U.S. crude and fuel inventories, signalling poor demand. Against this backdrop, the price of PP Injection Moulding FOB Al Jubail (Saudi Arabia) hovered around USD 938/MT by the week ending on May 3, 2024.

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