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Petrochemicals: Oct 9-13: Benzene softens after China holidays

2017/10/16 07:00


The FOB Korea benzene market softened early in the week but pared losses in the second half of the week. After China came back from the National Day holidays at the beginning of the week, styrene monomer (SM) prices in the China domestic market fell. This in turn pulled down the benzene market. Toluene prices, on the other hand, tracked movements in benchmark feedstock naphtha prices. Paraxylene prices lacked upward momentum owing to weakness in the PTA market.



The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market fell slightly as sentiment was chilled by declining derivative styrene monomer (SM) and ethylene glycol (EG) prices. Nevertheless, some Chinese end-users had not finished buying October cargoes before the National Day holidays as market directions ahead were uncertain. These end-users showed buying interest for prompt cargoes arriving end-October through early November. In the middle of the week, a cargo for November delivery to China was reportedly traded at $1,310/mt.


Asia propylene markets softened. The CFR Northeast Asia market was pressured by slackening supply/demand fundamentals. As a polypropylene unit un Japan was shut down due to troubles, some traders showed keen selling interest in order to trim their stocks. On the other hand, as propylene supply in East Chin was perceived to be ample, end-users held a bearish view and stayed on the sidelines. In the China domestic market, Shandong prices were firm as two propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plants were experiencing troubles. On an FOB Korea and a CFR Southeast Asia basis, activity was subdued.


Asia butadiene markets declined. With China domestic prices weakening, buying interest in imported cargoes diminished. In the China domestic market, derivative synthetic prices were falling and availability from Northeast China increased. As a result, prices softened. On an FOB Korea and a CFR Southeast Asia basis, bids and offers were not heard and a wait-and-see mood was strong.



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Tokyo : Petrochemicals Team  Yasuaki Yokoi  +81-3-3552-2411
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