For the Quarter Ending September 2023
In the third quarter of 2023, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) prices in North America experienced fluctuations. Initially, producers reduced quotations due to a decrease in demand for PEG 200 from end-user industries, coupled with sluggish activities in downstream sectors. Concurrently, extended logistics durations resulted from disruptions in US shipping and freight routes, influenced by declining water levels in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and delayed shipping activities through the Panama Canal. As a result, product prices saw an increase mid-quarter. Tight supply rates persisted due to decreased production caused by disruptions in upstream Ethylene supplies, linked to a global reduction in inventories of upstream Crude oil resulting from production cuts by Russia and OPEC+. Additionally, a slight decline in demand occurred as the Federal Reserve Bank raised bank interest rates to counter rising inflation, leading to a slowdown in the region’s economic growth. Offtakes from the Pharma sector remained moderate. The occurrence of Hurricane Idalia on August 30, 2023, further hindered supply rates, contributing to a price increase towards the end of the quarter.
In the Asian region, Polyethylene Glycol prices remained robust, witnessing a nearly 6% increase in the third quarter of 2023. At the quarter’s outset, demand for PEG 400 surged from eye drop manufacturers in India due to a sudden rise in conjunctivitis cases. However, inadequate supplies were experienced as production rates were affected by the low availability of upstream Ethylene caused by plant shutdown activities at ONGC Petro-addition (OPAL). Prices rose marginally mid-quarter, driven by stabilized demand for PEG 400 from the Pharma sector and limited supplies from Middle East exporters. Regional storms and typhoons, such as Doksuri, Saola, and Khanun, along with heavy rainfall, prolonged logistics durations, and supply rates remained insufficient. Operating rates declined due to the weak availability of upstream Ethylene supplies amid Crude Oil production cuts by OPEC+ and Russia. Consequently, product supply rates stayed moderately low. Prices increased again towards the quarter’s end as procurement activities remained strong before the arrival of festivals and holidays in the region.
Polyethylene Glycol prices in Europe experienced shifts during the third quarter of 2023. Initially, prices decreased due to surplus stock availability resulting from sluggish consumption rates in downstream industries amid moderate activities in end-user sectors. High energy prices and a rise in bank interest rates by the European bank led to decreased demand, causing a slowdown in Eurozone growth. Consumption rates remained moderately low during summer holidays in the region, although stable orders were received from the Pharma sector. Prices declined marginally mid-quarter due to limited supply rates, while high cost support on upstream Ethylene, driven by escalating Brent Crude Oil prices and stressed Crude Oil stocks from global refinery production cuts, contributed to increased prices towards the quarter’s end. The European Central Bank’s hike in bank interest rates negatively impacted demand from buyers at the end of the third quarter of 2023.
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In the Middle East region, Polyethylene Glycol prices demonstrated a bullish trend, surging by nearly 9% in the third quarter of 2023. Initially, prices rose due to a sudden increase in PEG demand from Asian importers and stressed inventory levels. Inadequate stocks resulted from a decline in production rates towards the previous quarter’s end. Prices increased marginally mid-quarter due to stabilized demand for PEG 400 from Asian importers for eye drop production. Simultaneously, feedstock Ethylene costs rose amid high upstream prices caused by a decline in global inventories and production cuts by OPEC+ and Russia. The production rates declined, and suppliers limited their supply rates to importers. Towards the quarter’s end, the unplanned outage of Yanbu National Petrochemical Company negatively impacted PEG production rates, leading to increased product prices amid moderate demand and limited supply rates to importers.
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