Petrochemicals: Sep 30-Oct 4: Ethylene bottoms out due to facility troubles
Aromatic prices in Northeast Asia generally softened as crude prices were expected to fall going forward. Regarding benzene and paraxylene (PX), new facilities would start operations soon in China and Southeast Asia and this also weighed down the market.
In olefin markets in Northeast Asia, activity was inactive as China, a major end-user, was on National Day holidays. An ethylene facility owned by China's SP Chemicals was reportedly shut down due to troubles on Oct 1. Because of this, perceptions of surplus supply for ethylene receded. It was heard that a Chinese end-user bought a cargo at $800/mt. Therefore, perceptions that prices had bottomed out arose.
In propylene markets in Northeast Asia, movements were subdued as China was on holidays. Supply in the region was seen to be limited for the time being as maintenance at facilities in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia would take place one after another. On the other hand, concerns arose that business conditions might worsen in the future and demand might decrease. Under this situation, players focused on movements after the National Day holidays.
In butadiene markets in Northeast Asia, activity was muted due to holidays in China. Supply for prompt cargoes was seen to be tight due to maintenance and troubles. On the other hand, regarding forward cargoes, many cargoes were expected to be brought from outside the region. As a result, prices for forward cargoes were lower. As of now, December delivery cargoes from Europe were reportedly traded at $1,130-1,150/mt. For first-half October delivery, discussions could be conducted from the mid to high $1,200s/mt.