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PP prices in the Middle East will likely remain firm

April 15/2011

(ICIS) -- Polypropylene (PP) prices in the Middle East will likely remain firm and even increase in May, buoyed by short availability of the material, with two major suppliers due to shut plants for turnarounds, industry sources said on Friday.

Regional converters are hurting from the strong prices, but PP producers had to either rollover values or adjust them higher to keep a decent spread from feedstock propylene, even when demand is not strong, they said.

PP raffia grade, which is used in packaging of grains, was discussed at USD1.700-1.740/tonne (EUR 1.173-1.201/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and USD 1.720-1,740/tonne CFR East Mediterranean (East Med) on Friday, market sources said.

Propylene was at USD 1.550-1.580/tonne CFR NE Asia at midday, while US crude futures were hovering at USD 108/bbl.

According to ICIS data, spot PP prices surged 21% since the start of the year on the back of rising raw material costs.

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