Acetic Acid Price in India

Asian Iso-MX: Slides $5-$6/mt despite slight rise in crude

Chemical Industry

– Taiwan’s FCFC No.3 PX may remain shut till Q4

– Taiwan demand stays low

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene prices weakened again Wednesday, slipping $6/mt day on day to be assessed at $684/mt FOB Korea and down $5/mt at $704/mt CFR Taiwan despite slightly higher crude oil prices. The drop may be linked to lower demand in Taiwan as Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corporation’s fire-hit No. 3 aromatics plant in Mailiao, Taiwan, could remain shut until the fourth quarter of this year, much longer than previously anticipated, industry sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. A company source declined to confirm the restart date of the plant but said FCFC has plans to ramp up related orthoxylene output — a byproduct from paraxylene production — in June from two aromatics units in Mailiao. He added that the company has procured sufficient PX from the spot Market to ensure that downstream purified terephthalic acid production is not affected because of the shutdown upstream. Market sources previously expected the shutdown to last until first-half June, but now expects that stringent government safety and compliance checks could delay the restart of the aromatics plant to the fourth quarter. FCFC shut the No. 3 aromatics plant in Mailiao on April 7 after an explosion at an LPG pipeline, S&P Global reported earlier. It has the capacity to produce 900,000 mt/year of PX, 640,000 mt/year of benzene and 240,000 mt/year of OX. FCFC had separately shut its No. 1 aromatics plant at the same location from April 10 to end-May for annual maintenance. It has the capacity to produce 287,000 mt/year of PX, 213,000 mt/year of benzene and 80,000 mt/year of OX. Wednesday’s isomer-MX Market is “very quiet and the Chinese Market looks stable,” a trader said. The price of prompt cargoes in the domestic China Market was at Yuan 5,600-5,630/mt or about $710.50/mt on an import parity basis, a China-based trader said. In other news, Taiwan’s CPC has issued a sell tender for 5,000 mt of isomer-MX to load in either H1 or H2 June depending on the buyer’s preference. The cargo is to be priced at a differential to the June average of FOB Korea isomer-MX assessments, or on a fixed price basis, a source close to the matter said Wednesday. The tender will close on May 9, and awarded on May 10.

RATIONALE:

Asian isomer-MX was assessed down $6/mt day on the day at $684/mt FOB Korea and down $5/mt at $704/mt CFR Taiwan on Wednesday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently the two June half-months. No bids or offers were registered during the Market on Close assessment process. During the MOC process, an offer for June loading cargo was heard lowered to $685/mt FOB Korea, without attracting any bids. The June laycans were assessed below the offer, at $684/mt FOB Korea. No bids or offers were heard on a CFR Taiwan basis, but the marker was assessed down $5/mt tracking FOB Korea marker, and considering reports of bids on a CFR China basis at $700-$705/mt for June arrivals. The above rationale applies to the following Market data codes: PHAUV00 for FOB Korea and PHAUT00 for CFR Taiwan.

 

Asian Toluene Chemical Industry: Prices mixed ahead of Labor Day holiday

chemicals-update-1

Chemical Industry news of Asian Toluene

– FOB Korea edges lower, CFR China higher

– China imports rise 37% to 45,401 mt in Mar

Asian toluene Chemical Industry was mixed Thursday, with the FOB Korea marker edging down $1/mt day on day to be assessed at $686/mt on a lower offer, while the CFR China Chemical Industry inched up $1/mt day on day to be assessed at $707/mt. Tentative selling indications for CFR China cargoes were observed at around low-$700s/mt early Thursday, but similar indications were not heard in the afternoon amid volatility in the upstream Chemical Industry. The ICE June Brent crude oil futures rose 58 cents/b to $72.23/b at the 0830 GMT Asian close Thursday. During the  Market on Close assessment process Thursday, a 2,000-mt any June bid was heard at $700/mt CFR China, which was subsequently raised to $706/mt CFR China but no interest was heard. In the Chinese domestic Chemical Industry, discussions were thin as buyers held out ahead of the Labor Day holidays from Thursday to Saturday. In other news, China’s toluene imports rose by 36.5% on the month in March to 45,401 mt, from 33,261 mt last month, data released Thursday by the China Customs Statistics Information Center showed. The largest toluene supplier to China was Taiwan at 23,425 mt, followed by South Korea at 18,936 mt and Singapore at 3,031 mt (Chemical Industry).

RATIONALE:

Toluene Chemical Industry was assessed lower by $1/mt, the day on day, at $686/mt FOB Korea and higher by $1/mt, the day on day, at $707/mt CFR China on Thursday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H2 May and H1 June. During the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process, no transparent deals, bids or offers were seen. The FOB Korea marker was assessed below the lowest H2 May offer on Thursday, heard at $687/mt FOB Korea. The CFR China marker was assessed above the highest June bid on Thursday, heard at $706/mt CFR China. The East China domestic Chemical Industry price was lower on the day by Yuan 10/mt at Yuan 5,310/mt on Thursday, with tradable indications heard between Yuan 5,300-5,320/mt.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asia and Middle East Naphtha Market Commentary

Chemical Industry

The arbitrage window for US naphtha cargoes to move to Asia was deemed workable by a few market participants in Northeast Asia Thursday, even though it was barely open. The Long Range II vessel Two Million Ways has been chartered by PetroDiamond to move 60,000 mt of naphtha from the US Gulf Coast to the Far East on May 4 at a lumpsum cost of $1.65 million, data from S&P Global shipping fixtures showed. Market sources said the attractiveness of moving US cargoes to Asia differed widely between buyers as its compatibility with their requirements varied greatly. The East/West naphtha swap spread showed signs of weakening, having slipped to plus $16.75/mt Thursday from $17.50/mt the previous session, and was pegged at a national level of plus $15.75/mt by brokers at 0300 GMT Thursday. However, this was seen having little impact on physical naphtha flows into Asia. Sources continued to expect around 1.65 million mt of arbitrage cargoes to reach Northeast Asia in May, down only slightly from 1.7 million mt in April. In spot tender news, Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp. on Thursday bought 100,000 mt of open-spec naphtha with a minimum paraffin content of 77% for H1 June delivery at a premium of around plus $5/mt to the H1 May average of Mean of  Japan naphtha assessments, CFR. This was higher than most recent deals due to the paraffin content of the cargo. Taiwan’s CPC Corp. last Thursday bought 35,000-55,000 mt of full range naphtha for delivery over June 5-27 at a premium close to plus $3/mt to the May average of MOPJ naphtha assessments, CFR. Market sources said Qatar Petroleum for the Sale of Petroleum Products or QPSPP, last week sold a combined cargo of 50,000 mt of full range naphtha and 25,000 mt of plant condensate for May 22-24 loading at a premium in the mid- to high teens to the Mean of  Arab Gulf naphtha assessments, FOB. The company could not be reached for confirmation.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

NWE Oxy Solvents: ETAC slips Eur20/mt amid good availability

Chemical Industry

ACETONE/PHENOL: European acetone was assessed at Eur440/mt FD NWE Thursday, down Eur10/mt week on week, within a price indication range from Eur400/mt up to mid-Eur400s, sources said. “Market remains long in spite of production cuts by most producers,” one trader said. The firm availability levels could be reduced with the return of MMA demand, which, alongside the automotive industry’s acetone buying, has been weak, according to sources. Producers’ efforts to increase prices amid higher levels in the upstream propylene Market have not been successful, another trader said. Meanwhile, the acetone Market length was characterized as “critical” by a producer, who said the oversupply was connected to reduced rates, impacting phenol availability. Phenol was again in high demand and its premium to benzene in Europe was assessed up Eur20/mt this week at Eur620/mt on Thursday, in a tight Market.

IPA/MEK: European IPA was assessed at Eur1,025/mt FD NWE on Thursday, unchanged from last week, in a relatively balanced Market. The product was pegged in a Eur980-1,055/mt price range. Market sentiment was that prices would pick up by mid-May, following higher feedstock propylene prices. “The biggest topic [in IPA Market] is propylene,” a producer said. The NWE May propylene contract price settled at Eur990/mt, up Eur20/mt on the month, S&P Global reported Thursday. European MEK continued its uptrend in a very tight Market and was assessed up Eur25/mt at Eur1,400/mt FD NWE on Thursday, in a wide price range of Eur1,350-1,500/mt indicated by sources. “Asian situation still unchanged,” one trader said. The product shortage was mainly driven by reduced availability from Taiwan. “Producers grab the chance and want to earn money,” another trader said.

ETAC/BUTAC: European ethyl acetate was assessed at Eur900/mt FD NWE on Thursday, down Eur20/mt from last week amid improved product availability and slow buying. “The Market is still very long at the moment,” a producer said. Price indications mostly ranged from Eur870/mt to Eur920/mt. A peg at the upper end at Eur1,000/mt by one trader was not corroborated by sources. Moving forward, no changes in pricing are expected until mid-May, when prices are likely to pick up, the producer added. Butyl acetate was assessed unchanged at Eur1,050/mt FD NWE Thursday in a Balanced Market. “Demand is as expected,” a producer said. Looking ahead, prices are expected to remain at the same level, according to the producer.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asia and Middle East Naphtha Chemical Industry Commentary

Chemical Industry

The Asian naphtha Chemical Industry kicked off the week with stable demand, although spot buying interest is expected to retreat gradually as the first-half June delivery trading cycle will end mid-week. Taiwan’s CPC Corp., is seeking 35,000-55,000 mt of full range naphtha for delivery over June 5-27. State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, is offering 25,000 mt of naphtha with minimum paraffin content of 70% and maximum sulfur limit of 400 ppm, ex-Visakhapatnam, for May 8-10 loading. Both tenders close on April 29, with next-day validity. Private refiner Nayara Energy Ltd., sold 33,000-35,000 mt of naphtha Chemical Industry with minimum 70% paraffin content and maximum 500 ppm sulfur content for May 27-31 loading at a premium in the mid-teens to May average of Mean of Arab Gulf naphtha assessments, FOB. Yeochun NCC, bought at least one cargo of 25,000 mt minimum 70% paraffin content open-spec naphtha for H1 June delivery, at a premium of around $4.5/mt to Mean of Japan naphtha assessments, CFR, pricing 30 days prior to delivery. The purchase was done last Wednesday. The company could not be contacted to verify the information. Separately, Japan’s Chemical Industry JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy has shut the China-based aromatics plant after a mechanical glitch early this week, a company source said, adding that the duration of the shutdown was unclear. The shutdown came at a time of a narrow paraxylene-naphtha spread, which prompted the Japanese producer to contingently trim its paraxylene production. “JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy have decided to reduce our PX production by 10%-20% of total capacity as early as possible because of the current squeezed margin,” the source said. The Asian paraxylene-naphtha spread narrowed to its lowest in 10 months at $331.705/mt at the Asian close Wednesday. The spread widened to $343.50/mt Wednesday. JXTG is a key buyer of heavy full range naphtha, having a requirement of around eight parcels of the feedstock per month, according to Chemical Industry sources. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 380,000 mt/year of PX and 240,000 mt/year of benzene, of which 140,000 mt/year of benzene is produced direct from the refinery using reformate feed, and 100,000 mt/year from the toluene disproportionation unit.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Orthoxylene Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry

CFR China, CFR SEA stable, FOB Korea down $10/mt

Sinopec settles April OX CP at Yuan 6,719/mt

Chemical Industry news – Asia orthoxylene was assessed stable to lower Friday. CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia was assessed unchanged from last Friday at $920/mt and $1,020/mt respectively, while FOB Korea was assessed down $10/mt over the same period at $1,010/mt. The fall in FOB Korea OX comes amid weakness in the isomer-mixed xylenes Chemical Industry, which is a feedstock for OX. FOB Korea isomer-MX was assessed down $13/ mt on the day at $723/mt Friday. State-owned China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, settled its April orthoxylene contract price at Yuan 6,719/mt on an ex-tank basis, equating to about $867.41/mt on an import-parity basis, sources close to the matter said Friday. This was down Yuan 81/mt from its March settlement of Yuan 6,800/ mt. With domestic East China Chemical Industry  OX prices significantly lower than that of import OX, demand for CFR China OX continued to be heard lackluster. The CFR China-domestic East China import parity spread for OX stood at $69.24/mt Friday. In other news, China’s Fuhaichuang Petroleum and Petrochemical, formerly known as Dragon Aromatics, will delay the planned two-week turnaround at its No. 1 aromatics unit in Gulei, a source close to the company said Friday. The No. 1 aromatics unit was originally slated to go on a turnaround on May 11, but this has been delayed to June, with the exact timeline still being decided, he added. The plant operates two aromatics lines, each of which has a nameplate capacity of 200,000 mt/year of orthoxylene. In downstream Chemical Industry, South Korea’s Aekyung Petrochemical plans to shut its 210,000 mt/ year phthalic anhydride plant in Ulsan on June 3, about four weeks later than the earlier target date of May 7, for a month of scheduled maintenance, a company source said. The delay comes amid supply tightness in the PA Chemical Industry, the source said.

Rationale

Asian OX was stable to lower from last Friday, assessed at $1,010/ mt FOB Korea, $920/mt CFR China and $1,020/mt CFR Southeast Asian Chemical Industry Friday. CFR China was assessed flat at the peg of $920/mt, considering the domestic price parity level in East China in the absence of spot trades at around $850-$860/mt CFR, and above a buy indication heard at $910/mt CFR. FOB Korea was assessed down $10/mt from last Friday at $1,010/mt, based on tradable indications heard at $1,020- $1,050/mt FOB, and also tracking the fall in feedstock FOB Korea isomer-grade mixed xylene Chemical Industry, which fell $13/mt day on day to $723/mt Friday. Southeast Asia was assessed at $1,020/mt, unchanged from last Friday, based on a tradable indication heard at $950-$1,050/mt CFR SE Asia, and above buying indications heard at $950/mt (Chemical Industry).

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Toluene Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry

Weaker energy complex, demand lackluster

Prompt Chinese prices shed Yuan 35/mt

Chemical Industry news – Asian toluene fell day on day by $16/mt to $698/mt FOB Korea on Friday as offers moved lower without any signs of buying interest emerging in the Chemical Industry 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 Friday, ending $1.07/b lower on the day at $74.21/b. In related Chemical Industry, naphtha was assessed at $607.50/mt CFR Japan Friday, 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 Chemical Industry. 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 Friday, equating to $677.38/mt on an import parity basis. In the Taiwan Chemical Industry, 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 Chemical Industry, 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 market source.

Rationale

The FOB Korea Chemical Industry was assessed lower day on day by $16/mt at $698/mt FOB Korea on Friday. 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  Chemical Industry 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 Friday, with bid-offer heard between Yuan 5,350/mt and Yuan 5,360/mt. CFR Taiwan was assessed at $711/mt (Chemical Industry), down $12/mt on the week, tracking the CFR China lower. 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 marker assessed at $741/mt (Chemical Industry), down $12/mt on the week.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asia and Middle East Naphtha Market Commentary

Imported Data

Fresh demand has emerged in the Asian naphtha market, helping to keep the supply/demand fundamentals balanced, market sources said Friday. Malaysia’s Lotte Chemical Titan, purchased two cargoes of 25,000 mt full-range naphthas, with minimum paraffin content of 77% for first-half June delivery, at a low single premium to the Mean of Japan naphtha assessments, CFR, pricing 30 days prior to delivery. South Korea’s LG Chem bought at least 25,000 mt of open-spec naphtha for H1 June delivery, market sources said. Details of the tender award could not be confirmed immediately. Nayara Energy Ltd. is offering up to 35,000 mt of naphtha, with minimum 70% paraffin content and maximum 500 ppm sulfur content for May 27-31 lifting from Vadinar, in a tender closing April 25, with the same day validity. Qatar Petroleum for the Sale of Petroleum Products, or QPSPP, offered late Friday 50,000 mt of full-range naphtha and 25,000 mt plant condensate for May 22-24 loading. The tender has closed, but award details could not be confirmed yet. Meanwhile, plans for the fourth phase of the Persian Gulf Star gas condensates refinery has changed and it will now produce sweet naphtha, as opposed to the original plan to be a gasoline production facility, the oil ministry news service reported Friday.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

NWE Styrene Chemical Industry – Spot prices fall on the day

Chemical Industry

– Demand for May cargoes

– Inventories continue to fall in Asia

The European styrene Chemical Industry started the week lower. S&P Global assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,129/mt FOB ARA Wednesday, down $4.50/mt from the previous assessment. April offers faded on Wednesday as the market looked to May cargoes. “No offers for April makes sense at this point,” a trader said, noting the narrow April delivery period. Demand was seen for May cargoes as Chemical Industry participants looked to secure cargoes. Bids and offers were also seen for June cargoes, although buyers and sellers remained far apart. In Asia, styrene rose $3/mt on the day to $1,076/mt CFR China. Strong crude prices and a steady decline in inventories have supported the styrene Chemical Industry, sources said. However, styrene prices are likely to stay within the range with little possibility of moving much higher or lower, market sources said. A Chinese trader said that the unclear price direction lately has resulted in reduced trading activity, as Chemical Industry participants await clear price direction.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,129/mt FOB ARA Wednesday, down $4.50/mt from the previous assessment (Chemical Industry). April was assessed at $1,135/mt, stable on the day, above the best bid at $1,120/mt. May was assessed at $1,126/mt, down $7/mt based on a curve. H1 May was assessed at $1,133/mt in the bid-offer range of $1,120-1,140/mt. H2 May was assessed at $1,119/mt within the bid-offer range $1,110-1,120/mt. The backwardation between April and May widened to $9/mt (Chemical Industry).

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene Chemical Industry prices rose $7/mt from Tuesday to $733/mt FOB Korea

Chemical Industry

– FCFC No. 3 plant may stay shut until H1 June

– FCFC No. 1 plant shuts for turnaround

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene Chemical Industry prices rose $7/mt from Tuesday to $733/mt FOB Korea and up $2/mt at $740/mt CFR Taiwan Tuesday on the back of strong upstream prices. June ICE Brent crude oil futures shot up $2.15/barrel to $73.91/b at 0830 GMT in Asian trade Tuesday. Nonetheless, the Asian MX Chemical Industry was overall quiet and thin and some market participants expressed uncertainty about the direction of MX prices on Tuesday. In China’s domestic market, prompt prices were heard at Yuan 5,660-5,670/mt, or about $720.30/mt on an import parity basis, which was relatively similar to last week’s price level. Also in Chemical Industry news, the fire-hit aromatics plant owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. will likely remain shut until the first half of June, a source close to the matter said Tuesday. FCFC shut the No. 3 aromatics plant in Mailiao on April 7 after an explosion at an LPG gas pipeline, S&P Global reported earlier. It has the capacity to produce 900,000 mt/year of paraxylene, 640,000 mt/year of benzene and 240,000 mt/year of orthoxylene. The No. 3 aromatics plant receives pygas feedstock from Formosa Petrochemical’s steam crackers at the same location. The steam crackers are currently running normally, but the source said Formosa was facing a “difficult time” clearing pygas supplies. FCFC separately shut its No. 1 aromatics plant at the same location from April 10 to end May for annual maintenance (Chemical Industry). It has the capacity to produce 287,000 mt/year of PX, 213,000 mt/year of benzene and 80,000 mt/year of OX.

RATIONALE:

Isomer-MX Chemical Industry was assessed up $7/mt from Tuesday at $733/mt FOB Korea and up $2/mt at $740/mt CFR Taiwan Tuesday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently second-half May and H1 June. No bids or offers were registered during the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process. During the MOC process, a cargo for H2 May loading was heard bid at $732/mt FOB Korea, without any offers seen. The H2 May laycan was assessed above the bid at $733/mt FOB Korea, and H1 June flat to H2 May at $733/mt FOB Korea, keeping the same structure as last Tuesday. No bids or offers were heard on a CFR Taiwan basis, and the marker was assessed up $2/mt, tracking firmer FOB Korea prices. The above rationale applies to the following Chemical Industry  data codes: PHAUV00 for FOB Korea and PHAUT00 for CFR Taiwan.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry