Indonesia may delay PE, PP import quota enforcement

  • Market: Petrochemicals
  • 23/02/24

The Indonesian trade ministry may delay the enforcement of a mandatory quota for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) imports to Indonesia that was earlier expected to come into effect on 10 March, according to local sources.

The enforcement could be delayed by at least three months, based on local associations' appeal requests to the trade ministry, and this may be announced soon, according to market sources. The associations had mostly requested for a grace period to be given to PE and PP importers after the mandate takes effect on 10 March. No official announcements have been made.

Local associations including the Indonesian chamber of commerce and industry (Kadin), Indonesian employers association Apindo, Indonesian food and beverage association Gapmmi and several plastics associations including Aphindo, Giatpi and Abofi have opposed or sought delays in the import quota mandate, mainly because of a lack of clarity in the application processes that could affect converters' operations later.

International business associations in Indonesia including the Korean chamber of commerce and industry Kocham, American chamber of commerce Amcham and the European chamber of commerce Eurocham have also undertaken similar courses of action.

The Indonesian trade ministry on 11 December last year announced that Indonesian PE and PP importers will need to apply for specific quotas to be able to import polymer resins from 10 March this year, or risk their cargoes getting rejected during customs clearance. A surveyor report is also required for resin imports. Importers can only begin their applications from 10 March.

Indonesian PE and PP buying interest and prices soared from late December until January, with importers stocking up for cargoes to arrive before the enforcement date. Spot polymer supplies in southeast Asia tightened in January because of unexpectedly higher Indonesian imports, which pushed up regional prices up, although higher feedstock costs also supported the price hikes.

The month-to-date average February southeast Asian duty-free LLDPE film price was at $1,065/t cfr southeast Asia, $79/t higher than average prices in December 2023.

The month-to-date February average of southeast Asian duty-free PP raffia prices was at $1,040/t cfr southeast Asia, $81/t higher than December 2023's average prices.

For a comparison, month-to-date February LLDPE film and PP raffia prices in the key Chinese market were at $935/t and $890/t cfr China respectively, only $7-9/t higher than December 2023's average prices.

Imports and domestic buying slows

Indonesian PE and PP import discussions have slowed down since early February as most exporters are not able to guarantee cargo arrivals before 10 March. Converters and distributors also experienced a rise in their inventories because of earlier stock-ups.

Southeast Asian PE and PP price hikes began slowing down in February because of weaker Indonesian import interest, while regional buyers are unwilling to secure supplies at current high prices, citing persistently weak downstream demand.

In the Indonesian domestic market, buying interest has also slowed down, with converters likely holding higher inventories.

Downstream PE and PP consumption in Indonesia has likely been high in January-February as converters have raised production of finished goods in anticipation of higher consumption during the recent general election in February and the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holidays in April. But converters are expected to reduce operating rates in March–April during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr holidays in the first half of April.

Delay to help importers gain clarity

A delay or a grace period would likely allow Indonesian PE and PP importers and converters to achieve more clarity on the application procedures for the quota.

Such a delay would also lengthen the time for importers to apply for other licenses that would allow for imports without restrictions, although the application process is stringent and likely only attainable by large-scale converters with good company records, said local sources. Importers that have the Indonesian 'MITA' and 'AEO' import certifications as well as export-oriented converters can currently import polymer resins without applying for a quota. Importers with bonded warehouses could store their resin imports temporarily while they apply for import quotas.

PE and PP prices in Indonesia are therefore less likely to soar to the extent that was observed in January, after the mandate takes effect officially, with importers likely able to manage the circumstances better.

The stocking up of domestic PP supplies and unplanned cuts in local production have led to domestic prices soaring in Indonesia in the past two months. Import discussions that were halted in February because of tight delivery windows further widened the gap between domestic and import PP prices in the country.

But a delay in the import quota enforcement could possibly lead to domestic PP prices falling, especially for the commodity grades and regional PP import prices stabilising when Indonesia resumes imports.

Indonesia imported 749,000t of combined LLDPE and HDPE in 2023, more than 45pc of its annual consumption, according to Argus estimates. Import volumes increased by 21pc from 2022.

The country also imported 1.25mn t of PP in 2023, around 65pc of its annual PP consumption. But this import volume was lower by 5pc when compared with 2022.

Southeast Asia, China LLDPE prices $/t

Southeast Asia, China PP prices $/t

Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
17/04/24

Singapore's MPA, IEA unite on maritime decarbonisation

Singapore's MPA, IEA unite on maritime decarbonisation

Singapore, 17 April (Argus) — The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the IEA have signed an initial deal to push the transition to zero and near zero emission fuels, while working on technology as well as digitalisation to meet the maritime decarbonisation agenda. The agreement, signed by MPA chief executive Teo Eng Dih and IEA executive director Faith Birol, was announced at the Singapore Maritime Week 2024 (SMW) this week. "Greater international collaboration in maritime and energy industries is critical for international shipping to meet international decarbonisation goals," Teo said. "Shipping is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise and we need to spur development and deployment of new technologies to slow and then reverse the rise in its emissions," said IEA chief economist Tim Gould. "This will require strong collaboration at a national and international level." Training programmes will be built to support the adoption of new fuels. There will also be partnerships made towards fuel-related projects and initiatives such as the International Maritime Organisation-Singapore NextGen project. The IEA plans to open its first regional co-operation centre in Singapore, which will be its first regional office outside of its headquarters in Paris, France. By Mahua Chakravarty Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Read more
News

Japan’s Idemitsu builds stake in refiner Fuji Oil


17/04/24
News
17/04/24

Japan’s Idemitsu builds stake in refiner Fuji Oil

Tokyo, 17 April (Argus) — Idemitsu has agreed to buy an additional stake in fellow Japanese refiner Fuji Oil from domestic power producer Jera, adding to their existing partnership. Idemitsu on 16 April said it will buy Jera's entire 8.75pc share of Fuji, raising its stake to 21.79pc, for ¥2.5bn ($16.2mn). It is unclear when the companies will complete the deal. Jera declined to disclose the reasons for selling its stake. Idemitsu in March also bought domestic petrochemical producer Sumitomo Chemical's stake in Fuji to boost its share to 13.04pc from 6.58pc, becoming its main shareholder. It aims to further optimise fuel oil production and sales including refinery operations, while promoting decarbonisaton of its businesses. Idemitsu is enhancing its partnership with Fuji in the face of shrinking domestic oil and petrochemical demand and growing consumption in overseas, especially in southeast Asia. Idemitsu owns the 190,000 b/d Chiba refinery in the Keiyo industrial complex in east Japan's Chiba prefecture where Fuji operates the 143,000 b/d Sodegaura refinery. Their refineries are connected to Sumitomo Chemical's Chiba plant. Idemitsu's refineries also include the 150,000 b/d Hokkaido in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, the 160,000 b/d Aichi in Aichi prefecture in central Japan and the 255,000 b/d Yokkaichi in Mie prefecture in the country's west. Idemitsu's subsidiary Toa Oil operates the 70,000 b/d Kawasaki refinery in east Japan's Kanagawa prefecture. By Nanami Oki Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

US Gulf lowest-cost green ammonia in 2030: Report


16/04/24
News
16/04/24

US Gulf lowest-cost green ammonia in 2030: Report

New York, 16 April (Argus) — The US Gulf coast will likely be the lowest cost source of green ammonia to top global bunkering ports Singapore and Rotterdam by 2030, according to a study by independent non-profits Rocky Mountain Institute and the Global Maritime Forum. Green ammonia in Singapore is projected to be sourced from the US Gulf coast at $1,100/t, Chile at $1,850/t, Australia at $1,940/t, Namibia at $2,050/t and India at $2,090/t very low-sulphur fuel oil equivalent (VLSFOe) in 2030. Singapore is also projected to procure green methanol from the US Gulf coast at $1,330/t, China at $1,640/t, Australia at $2,610/t and Egypt at $2,810/t VLSFOe in 2030. The US Gulf coast would be cheaper for both Chinese bio-methanol and Egyptian or Australian e-methanol. But modeling suggests that competition could result in US methanol going to other ports, particularly in Europe, unless the Singaporean port ecosystem moves to proactively secure supply, says the study. In addition to space constraints imposed by its geography, Singapore has relatively poor wind and solar energy sources, which makes local production of green hydrogen-based-fuels expensive, says the study. Singapore locally produced green methanol and green ammonia are projected at $2,910/t and $2,800/t VLSFOe, respectively, in 2030, higher than imports, even when considering the extra transport costs. The study projects that fossil fuels would account for 47mn t VLSFOe, or 95pc of Singapore's marine fuel demand in 2030. The remaining 5pc will be allocated between green ammonia (about 1.89mn t VLSFOe) and green methanol (3.30mn t VLSFOe). Rotterdam to pull from US Gulf Green ammonia in Rotterdam is projected to be sourced from the US Gulf coast at $1,080/t, locally produced at $2,120/t, sourced from Spain at $2,150/t and from Brazil at $2,310/t. Rotterdam is also projected to procure green methanol from China at $1,830/t, Denmark at $2,060/t, locally produce it at $2,180/t and from Finland at $2,190/t VLSFOe, among other countries, but not the US Gulf coast . The study projects that fossil fuels would account for 8.1mn t VLSFOe, or 95pc of Rotterdam's marine fuel demand in 2030. The remaining 5pc will be allocated between green ammonia, at about 326,000t, and green methanol, at about 570,000t VLSFOe. Rotterdam has a good renewable energy potential, according to the study. But Rotterdam is also a significant industrial cluster and several of the industries in the port's hinterland are seeking to use hydrogen for decarbonisation. As such, the port is expected to import most of its green hydrogen-based fuel supply. Though US-produced green fuels are likely to be in high demand, Rotterdam can benefit from EU incentives for hydrogen imports, lower-emission fuel demand created by the EU emissions trading system and FuelEU Maritime. But the EU's draft Renewable Energy Directive could limit the potential for European ports like Rotterdam to import US green fuels. The draft requirements in the Directive disallow fuel from some projects that benefit from renewable electricity incentives, like the renewable energy production tax credit provided by the US's Inflation Reduction Act, after 2028. If these draft requirements are accepted in the final regulation, they could limit the window of opportunity for hydrogen imports from the US to Rotterdam to the period before 2028, says the study. By Stefka Wechsler Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Overseas companies get US FDA polymers certifications


15/04/24
News
15/04/24

Overseas companies get US FDA polymers certifications

Houston, 15 April (Argus) — European and Asian companies have received a spate of FDA no objection letters (NOL) this year, a growing indication of overseas interest in the US recycled polymers market. FDA no objection letters allow recyclers to sell their recycled plastic pellets for use in limited food and drink-grade applications. Ultra-Poly and Circulus Holdings are the only two US-based companies who have received NOLs so far in 2024, out of a total of 14 different companies. Circulus received approval to use recycled low density polyethylene (LDPE) from its Ardmore, Oklahoma, facility for food contact in January, and Ultra-Poly received approval to use its recycled injection-molded polypropylene for food contact in March. Austrian recycler Borealis received two NOLs this year from the FDA, for its polypropylene and its high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and German recycler Gneuss Kunststofftechnik has received three, for HDPE, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polystyrene (PS). Italian chemicals company Versalis received approval for its recycled PS. Recyclers from East and Southeast Asia made up the rest of this year's approvals so far, for PP, PS, and HDPE. Recipients include the Pashupati Group from India, China-based Shanghai SmartLoop Industrial, and the Japan-based DIC Coporation. Growing imports from overseas greatly increased supply of recycled material in 2023 and 2024, but some domestic producers fear that the lower pricing from some overseas manufacturers will threaten their ability to stay in business. By Zach Kluver Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

G7 leaders to meet over Iran's attack on Israel


14/04/24
News
14/04/24

G7 leaders to meet over Iran's attack on Israel

Dubai, 14 April (Argus) — Leaders of the G7 will meet today, 14 April, to co-ordinate a diplomatic response to Iran's overnight air attack on Israel, which ushered a new phase in a six-month conflict that is threatening regional escalation. G7 presidency Italy "has organized a conference at leaders' level for the afternoon of today," Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni said on X, formerly Twitter. US President Joe Biden has pledged a co-ordinated G7 diplomatic response and condemned the Iranian assault. Iran fired hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel on the evening of 13 April, according to the country's state-owned news agency Irna. Almost all were intercepted before they reached Israeli airspace and there were no fatalities reported by Israel. One civilian was injured and an air force base in southern Israel was lightly damaged, according to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). The Iranian attack came in response to a suspected Israeli air strike on the vicinity of Iran's embassy compound in Damascus, Syria, on 1 April. Tehran's foreign minster Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Iran considers this to be the end of its operation. But energy markets, which have been supported in recent weeks by a geopolitical risk premium, will face a week of uncertainty about whether Israel will retaliate. The front-month June Ice Brent contract was trading at $90.45/bl before markets closed for the weekend, and hit a more-than five month high of $92.18/bl on Friday, 12 April. Israeli officials said the attack was "a severe and dangerous escalation" from Tehran. Israel's war cabinet is meeting today to discuss a response. "We will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us," said cabinet minister Benny Gantz. The US is urging Israel to claim victory for its defence, in an apparent effort to discourage Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government from feeling compelled to retaliate. While noting that Israel ultimately will make the decision as to how to respond, White House national security communications co-ordinator John Kirby, in a televised interview today, hailed what he called Israel's "incredible military achievement" in defending itself against the attack. Very little managed to penetrate the defensive shield, "and the damage was extraordinarily light," he said. The US military played a role in helping to defend against the attack, bringing down "several dozens of drones and missiles," Kirby said. UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said the Royal Air Force shot down "a number of Iranian attack drones". Israel's western allies are urging it to show restraint as they try to prevent a wider conflict in the Middle East, which could directly affect oil producers and send energy prices soaring. President Biden is especially keen to avoid such a scenario in an election year. By Bachar Halabi and David Ivanovich Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more