Petrotahlil - China’s polymer inventories edge higher
China's polymer inventories have increased slightly as consumption continues to slow, despite attempts to boost manufacturing activity as the coronavirus outbreak fades.
China did not report any new domestic coronavirus cases today for the first time since the outbreak started around 2-3 months ago.
Inventories at state-controlled Sinopec and PetroChina edged up to 1.285mn t on 18 March from 1.27mn t a week earlier, reflecting continued lower consumption.
The coronavirus outbreak is starting to come under control in China, but people remain wary of resuming social activities.
Small and mid-sized converters are still not fully starting up because of weak downstream demand and a continued shortage of labour.
Weak crude oil prices and slow derivative demand has sent polymer prices steadily lower since the lunar new year holiday in late January.
Argus assessed PP raffia prices in China at $800-830/t cfr on 19 March, while LLDPE prices were at $770-790/t cfr.
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