Platts Reports February 2021
Turkish and African Polypropylene: Prices soar on firm offers from Middle East, Europe
■ North African market remains bearish
■ Shortage of PP in West Africa lifts prices
The Turkish polypropylene markets rallied in the week ended Feb. 10,
as offer levels from Middle Eastern producers were sharply higher from
S&P Global Platts assessed the CFR Turkey PP raffia grade spot
price up $150/mt on the week at $1,440/mt.
Market sources have been awaiting fresh offer levels from Middle
Eastern producers following the settlement of the European propylene
contract price for February on Jan. 19 at Eur85/mt higher from
January. Despite demand remaining sluggish, limited material available
from Europe as well as ongoing high freight rates due to the global
container shortage continued to keep a cap on Turkish supply.
Despite sluggish demand for raffia and copolymer grades, firm
interest remained in fiber material, particularly from south eastern
Turkey, the center of the nations carpet sector.
In the North African markets, price levels rose steeply on the week
as tightness in the market lifted prices, and fresh producer offers from
the Middle East and Europe reached the region. “Demand is not good,
but supply is not big either. Thanks to the shortage of material we saw
some increases,” a trader said.
Sources reported trade was winding down for the month already,
with converters largely buying hand-to-mouth amid caution due to the
rising price levels. “The pace of dealings is slowing, expect by end of
this week it will be over for the month. Regarding march we don't know
but suppliers are bullish,” the trader said.
In West Africa, PP remained in high demand with offers heard to be
raised substantially on the week amid severely limited supply of
homopolymer and copolymer grades. Ongoing issues regarding
container shortages, high freight rates and limited access to foreign
exchange for consumers restricted the amount of material flowing to
the region, particularly Nigeria. “Buyers are having trouble. They
produce what they can, but some others can't get enough material so
they are struggling as they have very high capacities,” a Nigerianbased
Meanwhile, operating rates at local producer Indorama Eleme’s
120,000 mt/year Port Harcourt plant remained low, though
improvements were expected by the end of the month or start of
March. Despite this, sources expected supply issues to persist given
continued high freight costs, and a significant rise in offer levels from
Europe and the Middle East. “If imports normalize then there will be
improvements, but if Indorama’s situation improves but there is no
improvement in import levels then there will be no improvement really
for the local market,” the source said.