Global mLLDPE Market Faces excess supply, Price Decline, Industry faces Challenges in April 2024
Global mLLDPE Market Faces excess supply, Price Decline, Industry faces Challenges in April 2024

Global mLLDPE Market Faces excess supply, Price Decline, Industry faces Challenges in April 2024

  • 24-Apr-2024 5:05 PM
  • Journalist: Yage Kwon

In the initial half of April 2024, there was an oversupply of Metallocene Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (mLLDPE) in the market, leading to a global decline in prices.  Despite the rise in mLLDPE contracts in Europe throughout April, the overall market sentiment remained stable as demand tapered off following three consecutive months of growth. Similarly, the Asian market saw stable prices due to ample supplies. Several Middle Eastern producers adjusted their prices in April to accommodate shorter working hours during Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, resulting in price reductions in both Asia and Europe.

In the initial part of April, mLLDPE prices in Europe declined mainly due to weak domestic demand and an oversupply situation. Manufacturers encountered challenges in matching prices with production expenses in a sluggish market, leading to cost pressures. Despite the rising costs of feedstock Ethylene, some suppliers opted to decrease prices due to better availability. Additionally, ExxonMobil and SABIC declare shutdown of European ethylene cracking plants due to climbing energy expenses and expansion of global capacities. ExxonMobil plans to close its 400,000 tons/year steam cracker together with downstream PP and PE units at the Gravenchon site in France within 2024.

Further, despite the increase in Crude oil prices prompted by supply worries, the global mLLDPE markets continue to face subdued demand from downstream sectors like construction, automotive, and packaging. Market participants foresee pressure on regional mLLDPE markets due to the shortened holiday period resulting from reduced working hours during Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, as well as imports. Buyers anticipate lower prices in May and June, potentially leading to discounts later in April.

Moreover, European producers are troubled by the uptick in mLLDPE imports from Asia, notably from China, which may worsen the supply surplus amid economic uncertainties. This strain is anticipated to endure, especially with the potential surge of Chinese mLLDPE into European markets, while the US remains a significant supplier, leveraging its feedstock advantage and surplus situation.

During this period, mLLDPE prices have remained relatively steady in the Asian market, notably in China and India, since late March, owing to limited activity and abundant domestic supply, which has put pressure on the market. The plentiful availability of Chinese products has also impacted Southeast Asia, with offers from this origin maintaining a competitive advantage at the lower end of the imported mLLDPE market. Additionally, the rise in Ethylene costs has prompted local sellers to increase their prices in the Asian market. However, subdued demand in India and a lack of supply issues across the region may keep market sentiment subdued in the short term, as noted by industry insiders.  However, the anticipated upward trend in oil prices is expected to provide some reinforcement to the mLLDPE market, notwithstanding the decreased purchasing interest in the region.

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