– Buyers stay on sidelines waiting for direction
– Flexible Packaging to shut 2 PP plants May 7
The Asian propylene market remained stable Monday as buyers in China were reluctant to make spot purchases and preferred to wait for a clearer direction, sources said. “Today trade activity slowed down,” said a Korea-based trader who noted that buyers were very cautious about buying. “Today buyers are very cautious and want to know seller indications,” the trader said. Shandong and East China prices remained unchanged from Friday at Yuan 7,250/mt and Yuan 7,050/mt, respectively, Monday, both on an ex-work basis. In plant news, China Flexible Packaging Group plans to shut two polypropylene plants, each with a 500,000 mt/year capacity, in Jiangyin, Fujian province, by May 7, a company source said Monday. “We will shut both PP plants on May 7 — one will be shut for three weeks, the other for two weeks,” the source said. During the shutdowns, the company will reduce its purchase of feedstock propylene. The company buys 60,000 mt/month of imported propylene and 20,000 mt/month of domestic material as feedstock, the source said. “We will buy less than 30,000 mt propylene for May. We will buy less domestic and imported propylene,” the company source added. China’s Fujian Meide Petrochemical, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Flexible Packing Group, plans to delay the startup of its newly built propane dehydrogenation plant in Jiangyin, Fujian province, to August, two months later than earlier planned. The PDH plant has the capacity to produce 660,000 mt/year of propylene and uses 795,000 mt/year of propane as feedstock when operating at 100% of capacity.
The CFR China propylene marker remained unchanged from Friday at $905/mt Monday, as price discussions stood at around $900-$910/mt CFR China. The FOB Korea marker was assessed unchanged day on day at $865/mt, below selling indications at $880/mt FOB Korea, and above buying indications at $$850/mt FOB Korea. Domestic prompt prices in Shandong were assessed down unchanged at Yuan 7,250/mt ex-works, amid muted trading. The East China price was also assessed unchanged on day at Yuan 7,050/mt ex-works.