(ICIS) -- China's polyethylene (PE) import demand may weaken further in the coming months because of high import prices that will deter buyers, industry sources said on Tuesday.
The benchmark linear low density PE (LLDPE) was on average selling at yuan (CNY) 10,800/tonne (USD 1.659/tonne) EXWH (ex-warehouse) on 13 May, CNY350/tonne or 3.1% lower from mid-April, according to data from Chemease, an ICIS service in China.
The import cost of LLDPE was at least $35/tonne (┬25/tonne) higher than current retail prices, local traders said.
The average retail price of injection grade polypropylene (PP) rose to CNY12,675/tonne EXWH on 13 May, up by CNY225/tonne or 1.8% from mid-April, but still lagged behind import costs, local traders said.
The benchmark injection grade PP is being offered from Asia at around USD 1.680/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China for June shipment, around USD133/tonne higher than current retail prices.
China imported less PE and PP in March this year as a result of the high import costs, local traders said. China imported around 230 KT of LLDPE and about 330 KT of homopolymer PP in March, which were 14% and 9% lower compared with the same month last year, according to China's customs data.