– Participants hold back and stay on sidelines
– Buying interest in Chinese Chemical Industry subdued
The Asian toluene Chemical Industry was largely unchanged as market participants held back to observe the market mid-week. Both the FOB Korea and CFR China Chemical Industry were quiet Thursday amid a dearth of discussions heard, leaving prices unchanged. The East China domestic prompt price inched up from the previous day by Yuan 25/mt to Yuan 5,385/mt on Thursday, with indications heard between Yuan 5,370-5,400/mt. Still, buying interest in the Chinese Chemical Industry was heard to be subdued. “[Domestically], the downstream demand is affected by environmental protection issues, which may persist until May,” a Chemical Industry source said. Meanwhile, the ICE June Brent crude oil futures retreated slightly, ending 13 cents/b lower to $74.20/b at the 0830 GMT Asian close, reducing support for firmer toluene prices in the near term. In other upstream news, Chinese gasoline exports were seen to have surged by 204.5% from February to around 1.69 million mt in March, data released from the General Administration of Customs showed. The jump was mostly attributed to the low base of 555,000 mt in February, which was well below Chemical Industry expectations of 1 million mt.
Toluene was assessed flat at $714/mt FOB Korea and $731/mt CFR China on Thursday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H2 May and H1 June. No bids or offers were registered during the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process. The East China domestic prompt price was higher day on day by Yuan 25/mt at Yuan 5,385/mt on Thursday, with bid-offer heard between Yuan 5,370 and 5,400/mt.