China supply/demand for polyethylene firm
The polyethylene (PE) domestic market in China was on an upward trend after the Lunar New Year holidays in February. This was because the PE futures market moved up along with a sharp rise in crude prices during the Lunar New Year holidays. Further, as petrochemical makers in China had low PE stocks and US petrochemical makers stopped operations due to the impact of a cold wave, supply was tight. Under such circumstances, Chinese petrochemical makers raised their ex-works offers one after another.
As for demand, due to a recovery in operations of derivative product makers, buyers actively procured cargoes to replenish inventories. Especially, demand for agriculture use was firm. For high-density polyethylene (HDPE), final end-users for Blow grade did not procure the required amount before the Lunar New Year holidays. Thus, they were keen on spot purchase to replenish inventories at the moment. As spring demand season will come from March, demand is expected to increase. Nevertheless, the market considerably strengthened after the Lunar New Year holidays while operations at final end-users had not completely recovered. Thus, some sources perceived that prices may decrease in the near future.