MRC -- Imports of polymer feedstock to Russia may grow in 2024, Petr Bazunov, General Director of the Russian Plastics Processors Association (RPPA), told Interfax.
"A number of processors in our Association have decided to increase imports, as imported raw materials in Russia are sold at prices equal or close to those of SIBUR. The principle of import parity or so-called netbacks is in effect. Refiners choose the raw materials that are more profitable for them. No one is holding on to SIBUR because in quality of production - due to failures with American catalysts - and in the terms of purchase SIBUR is no better than imports, and often turns out to be worse," he said.
Thus, he said, there are reasons to believe that imports will grow amid diversification of feedstock supplies by companies.
"In 2023, imports are up 11%. We think the trend will continue this year. Or SIBUR will begin lowering prices. We will understand the outcome at the beginning of 2025 based on the results of statistics. So far we are talking about processors' plans, which are reflected in the forecasts of consumption of Russian raw materials," Bazunov added. He did not disclose absolute figures on planned volumes of imports, but noted that this concerns tens of thousands of tonnes.
"A lot of feedstock came from Iran. This is becoming advantageous, and the quality is good," the RPPA chief said. Besides Iran, he noted China and Azerbaijan among the main suppliers.
Earlier, it was reported a 12% increase in imports of large-tonnage polymers to 1 million tonnes by the end of 2023. RPPA President Mikhail Katsevman then pointed out that the import growth figure was prompted by the low base of 2022: "This is mainly due to the fact that 2022 was a shock year, when we were denied many deliveries".