– Spot market bulls not felt in domestic China
– East China prompt ex-tank price stable on day
Asian toluene rose $1/mt-$5/mt to be assessed at $703/mt CFR China and $681/mt FOB Korea, respectively, on bids heard during the Friday Market on Close assessment process Friday. During the MOC, a best bid was heard at $680/mt FOB Korea for any May loading. No bids or offers were heard for CFR China, though a bid was heard at $695/mt CFR China for any May delivery in the afternoon, before the MOC started, and an any May bid was heard at $677/mt FOB Korea earlier Friday. Despite bullishness in the spot market, most participants in China maintained a cautionary stance on the back of another explosion at a factory in Jiangsu, east China. “Factories in some parts of east China have stopped. The market sentiment has definitely been affected because of the numerous incidents that have occurred over the past month or so. There definitely will be retrospective and detailed investigations into downstream production,” a Chinese source said Friday. Domestic East China prompt ex-tank was heard discussed at Yuan 5,380-5,420/mt the entire day and was assessed at Yuan 5,400/mt, converting to an import parity of $661/mt, largely unchanged from the day before. “Toluene prices in China are on a slight uptrend. Main thing is traders are bidding up prices,” a Chinese toluene end-user said. A southeast Asian trader said “I think prices now are reasonable, but whether or not prices will come down remains to be seen, since China ports are going to face inspection for DG Chemicals. Zhang Jia Gang already received a sudden notice yesterday to stop importing aromatics, several terminals in Zhang Jia Gang are affected.”
The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $680/mt FOB Korea Friday, up $5/mt from the previous assessment day, and was assessed above a best bid heard at $680/mt FOB Korea during the Friday Market on Close assessment process Friday. The CFR China marker was assessed at $703/mt Friday, also up $1/mt from Friday, tracking the FOB Korea higher. The FOB Korea and CFR China markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H1 and H2 May. H1 May was assessed at $703/mt CFR China and H2 May at $703/mt CFR China on Friday, maintaining the market’s flat structure from the day before, tracking the domestic Chinese market.