– Weaker energy complex, demand lackluster
– Prompt Chinese prices shed Yuan 35/mt
Asian toluene fell day on day by $16/mt to $698/mt FOB Korea on Monday as offers moved lower without any signs of buying interest emerging in the Imported Data amid a weaker crude complex. H2 May was last heard offered at $700/mt FOB Korea, versus no bids. The ICE June Brent crude oil futures declined at the 0830 GMT Asian close Monday, ending $1.07/b lower on the day at $74.21/b. In related market, naphtha was assessed at $607.50/mt CFR Japan Monday, putting the toluene-naphtha spread at $90.50/mt, down $35.50/mt week on week. CFR China discussions also weakened, tracking lukewarm demand in the domestic Imported Data. With cheaper cargoes available domestically, low interest was seen for imported material, market sources said. Prompt domestic prices retreated from the previous day by Yuan 35/mt to Yuan 5,355/mt on Monday, equating to $677.38/mt on an import parity basis. In the Taiwan Imported Data, demand for toluene remained tepid. The fire-hit Formosa Chemicals and Fibre’s No. 3 aromatics plant in Mailiao will likely remain shut until the first half of June, S&P Global reported earlier. In Southeast Asia, end-user demand was also seen low with distributors reluctant to purchase at high prices. Meanwhile in the India market, demand remained steady on week while sources noted some disruptions in cargo arrivals from Iran. “India is in election mode right now … after the [local] government is stabilized, growth should come,” said a Imported Data source.
The FOB Korea Imported Data was assessed lower day on day by $16/mt at $698/mt FOB Korea on Monday. The marker takes the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H2 May and H1 June. No transparent offers or bids were seen during the Imported Data on Close assessment process. An H2 May offer was heard at $700/mt FOB Korea. The CFR China marker was assessed at $715/mt, down $16/mt, tracking the domestic East China marker and FOB Korea lower, largely due to thin trades. The East China domestic prompt price was lower day on day by Yuan 35/mt at Yuan 5,355/mt on Monday, with bid-offer heard between Yuan 5,350/mt and Yuan 5,360/mt. CFR Taiwan was assessed at $711/mt, down $12/mt on the week, tracking the CFR China Imported Data. CFR India was assessed at $757/mt, down $9/mt on the week, on tradable indications heard at a premium of around $59/mt to FOB Korea this week. FOB Southeast Asia was assessed at $702/mt, down $12/mt on the week, with the CFR Southeast Asian (Imported Data) assessed at $741/mt, down $12/mt on the week.