Month: January 2019

Acetic acid assessed stable to firm on the week

Mathanol Prices

Asian acetic prices were stable, if not a little firmer this week, with a few turnarounds planned in March and April, and producers have started stockpiling inventory. “There’s not a big change on the buyer’s side as the market heads into the Lunar New Year holidays,” a trader said. Trade sources said downstream purified terephthalic acid production was stable till the Lunar New Year, and acetic acid suppliers were not in a hurry to dump prices. “Buyers buy what they need … Many are covered already for the holiday period,” a second trader said. “Inventory for downstream is not high as people prefer to keep inventory low and have more cash in hand for the festive season. But buying activity should pick up after the Lunar New Year,” he added. Meanwhile, China’s Jiangsu Sopo’s No. 1 acetic acid plant with a capacity of 250,000 mt/year was heard to have reduced its operating rate last weekend, according to market sources. A company source said it was unclear if the reduced operating rates were due to a technical issue at the plant or something else, and did not know when it would return to normal operating rates, which was 90% of its capacity. VAM: Stable acetic acid prices this week were a good sign for the vinyl acetate monomer market, trade sources said this week. However, sentiment across Asia remained largely bearish as business had slowed with the impending Lunar Year holidays, they added. A producer said that ethylene prices were rising and there were concerns around higher costs. He added that they will be informing their customers about higher prices for February shipments to Southeast Asia and South Asia. Other producers said higher ethylene prices would affect VAM producers which use ethylene as a feedstock. A selling idea for ethylene-based VAM for end-February and March deliveries for Southeast Asia was heard at $920-$950/mt CFR. The CFR Northeast

Asia VAM marker was assessed at $1,040/mt Friday, up $40/mt from Thursday, and up $85/mt on week, Data showed. Still, a trader said demand for VAM was not expected to move much before the Lunar New Year holidays, and that buyers have probably “stocked up by now”. RATIONALE: AA: The CFR Far East Asia marker was assessed $5/mt higher week on week at $445/mt CFR Friday, tracking firmer FOB China prices. Discussions were heard around $440-$450/mt this week. Southeast Asia AA was assessed $5/mt higher over the same period at $445/mt CFR, tracking firmer prices in Far East Asia and China. The FOB China price was up $9/mt at $399/mt, against selling indications heard at $400-$410/mt FOB. The CFR South Asia marker was assessed at $435/mt, tracking firmer market fundamentals across regions. VAM: CFR China was assessed at $930/mt Friday, stable from last Friday, amid thin trading. The CFR Southeast Asia and CFR South Asia prices were unchanged week on week at $895/mt and $830/mt, respectively, amid stable market  fundamentals.


Phenol price went up in India

Imported Data

Asian phenol/acetone prices were stable over the week leading up to Friday. While supply was increasing on the restart of plants in East China, turnarounds were also ongoing. Upstream, benzene was assessed up $13/mt on the week at $569/mt FOB Korea Friday, while propylene, another feedstock for phenol/acetone, was assessed unchanged over the same period at $925/mt FOB Korea Friday.

PHENOL: While spot supply for January and February cargoes was thin Friday, demand was also muted, sources said. Selling indications were heard at $1,050/mt CFR China, but a buyer said Friday that with domestic East China prices at Yuan 8,300-8,400/mt, approximately $970-$980/mt CFR China, buyers were unlikely to meet offer levels which they considered “high.” In the domestic market, however, sellers were optimistic about prices over the year. Phenol producers said that with the start up of multiple polycarbonate plants, demand for bisphenol-A was likely to firm, bringing with it demand for feedstock phenol. However, it was also possible that with growing supply of polycarbonate, prices would fall, resulting in narrowing spreads between polycarbonate and phenol. On the other hand, demand for phenol from other downstream segments such as cyclohexanone and caprolactam was thin, owing to narrow price spreads between feedstock and downstream products. CFR China phenol was assessed unchanged on the week at $1,025/mt, while CFR India phenol was assessed stable over the same period at $1,080/mt.

ACETONE: Losses on acetone production continued to be high, with domestic producers estimating around Yuan 300 lost with every metric ton of acetone produced. Acetone’s is typically used for producing methyl methacrylate, but demand from MMA producers have been weak, sources said. CFR China acetone was assessed unchanged week on week at $425/mt, while CFR India phenol was assessed stable over the same period at $465/mt.

US MTBE prices went down

Chemical Industry

Spot USG MTBE pricing slipped for the third consecutive session Friday amid sustained weakness in its Northwest European counterpart. With the premium to the FOB ARA marker unchanged at 10 cents, spot pricing followed Europe down 1.69 cents on the day. No activity was seen in the Platts Market on Close assessment process and spot trading activity was limited. Related energy was slightly stronger on the day, inching up 19 points to $1.3876/gal. Blended and shipped values were last estimated near 203 cents/gal while the MTBE factor relative to gasoline was at 1.1987. In other regions, the FOB Singapore marker was down $13/mt to $561/mt while the FOB ARA marker was 1.69 cents weaker at 156.44 cents/gal.  RATIONALE: Spot USG MTBE was assessed Friday at 166.44 cents/gal FOB USG, down 1.69 cents on the day. The assessment was based on a 10-cent premium to ARA, where the netback was last talked.

Vinyl acetate monomer remain stable on the week

Chemical Industry

Asian vinyl chloride monomer was assessed unchanged week on week Friday. The downstream PVC market increased on a CFR China basis, rising $10/mt week on week to be assessed at $900/mt Thursday, Data showed. However, spot buying interest for VCM cargoes remained limited as the current PVC market was driven by tight supplies rather than firm demand. In fact, the domestic China PVC market was bearish this week, with ethylene-based PVC falling Yuan 100/mt week on week to be assessed at Yuan 6,900/mt Thursday, Platts data showed. On the other hand, VCM producers were reluctant to reduce their offers, citing wide PVC-VCM spread. The spread between PVC and VCM widened $10/mt from the previous week to be calculated at a four-month high of $190/mt Friday, Platts data showed. The spread is also higher than a typical breakeven point of $150/mt. In the latest statistics released, Japan’s VCM production in December rose 18.4% from a month earlier to 246,007 mt, the Vinyl Environmental Council said Thursday. Japan’s VCM exports also rose 7.4% to 75,547 mt during the same period. RATIONALE: EDC: Spot EDC was an unchanged week on week to be assessed at $400/mt CFR Far East Asia/Southeast Asia Friday, with no fresh discussions were heard.

Methanol prices expected to go up

Chemical Industry

Methanol low inventory and delayed shipment pushed the prices higher in the Indian market.
Current methanol trading level noticed around Rs 26-26.5/kg at major ports of India which expected to go up further in the coming days.
Prices hiked by Rs 4-5/kg in just last 03days only.
As per discussion with major importers of India they exclusively informed that incoming material delayed and expected to arrive by mid-week of Feb with some additional 2% premiums hence booking level went higher up to $290-300/mt CFR India level.
Current inventory level assessed below 35,000 tonnes.

Sell&Procure Updates

Chemical Industry

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Quantity : 100 MTS /Month
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This facility available for existing clients only.

Styrene prices showed mixed trend on the week

Imported Data

Styrene prices showed a mixed trend of Rs ±2/kg week on week to Rs 83-85/kg at major ports of India.
Demand of the material noticed moderate, prices expected stable to ±1/kg in coming days.

International Market Updates:

Asian styrene monomer fell $6/mt on the day to $1,003/mt CFR China and $953/mt FOB Korea Thursday despite the rise in upstream crude and benzene. Discussions were thin in the afternoon, and prices were initially higher on the day before shedding the gains late afternoon. In the east China domestic market, the prompt marker fell Yuan 80/mt on the day to Yuan 8,120/mt ex-tank Thursday. Sentiment is bearish in the Chinese market on the growing pressure from ample prompt cargoes, and the significant quantity of deepsea cargoes arriving in China next week. “The market is facing great pressure from the amount of spot SM available now,” said a market participant. According to sources, while the market appears to be less bearish at the start of the year amid stronger demand in the downstream markets, there are concerns around the sustainability of the rise in prices. “Downstream demand has definitely improved from late last year. However, most of this is likely restocking prior to the Chinese New Year,” said a market source. “So, it’s unclear how demand will be in late February to March. In addition, trade talks in March would highly likely have an effect on SM prices,” the source added. In the related feedstock markets, ethylene was assessed stable at $870/mt CFR Northeast Asia amid limited fixed price discussions, while benzene CFR China rose $5/mt on the day to $581/mt Thursday.

Toluene market on positive trend in Indian markets

Chemical Industry

Toluene trading prices noticed between Rs 49.5-51/kg week on week in the Indian market expected stable to bit up in coming days.
“Importers can remain the market at Rs 50-52/kg in coming days to get good positive margin as International market of toluene recovering.”-source.

International Market Updates:

Asian toluene rose $2/mt on the day to close at $567/mt FOB Korea and $604/mt CFR China Thursday on the back of a bid heard at $565/mt FOB Korea for any February loading cargo during the Platts Market on Close assessment process Thursday. On Thursday, thin liquidity was heard throughout the Asian market despite the recent day on day spike in prices, caused in part by the constantly surging domestic Chinese price. “The market is very long bar China,” a trader based in Southeast Asia said Thursday. “Everywhere you see excess supplies,” he added. In China, domestic East China discussions ended market bullishness observed since the turn of the new year at mid-day Thursday. The domestic prompt ex-tank was discussed at approximately Yuan5,280/mt on Thursday morning, but nosedived to close at Yuan 5,130/mt towards the end of the day. “I am guessing there are many in China who feel right now that the recent spike in crude is short-lived and will not carry on forever,” a China-based trader said Thursday. “Crude is rising but domestic prices are falling today, don’t you think it is weird,” The trader said Thursday. Moreover, fewer domestic East China deals were heard Thursday compared to the day before with some sources saying that offers outnumbered bids in the East China market on Thursday. The East China domestic ex-tank marker was assessed at Yuan 5,150/mt Thursday, converting to an import parity of $624.51/mt, down some Yuan 50/mt from the day before. Elsewhere, toluene supply was heard to be long in Southeast Asia. “SEA price is far below the FOB now, excess supplies [are] everywhere,” a trader based in SEA said Thursday.