Acetone Price in India

Prices rise tracking increases in Asia

– March traded at $1005/mt

– Asian markers up $3/mt on the day

European spot prices rose tracking earlier increases in Asia. S&P Global CSG assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $994/mt FOB ARA Wednesday, up $1.50/mt on the day. Buying interest continued on Wednesday as March cargoes were heard traded at $1,005/mt. “It seems [the market] is starting to pick up, especially the forward months which we can see from the prices,” a distributor said. Demand has picked up this month on expectations of turnarounds in the second quarter. Market participants were said to be waiting for movement in Asia, particularly China. High stocks in China were limiting shipments from Europe, sources said. Chinese inventory levels were last heard at 306,500 mt on Wednesday. The distributor added that European prices will be driven by Chinese supply and demand. Early discussions of the March contract price settlement were heard, and a source expected a small increase following an uptick in the spot market. “Considering benzene and ethylene costs, spot prices and buying activity, I expect a Eur20-25/mt increase,” the distributor said. In Asia, styrene rose $3/mt day on day to $1,077/mt CFR China and $1,027/mt FOB Korea Wednesday.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global CSG assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $994/mt FOB ARA Wednesday, up $1.50/mt on the day. February was assessed at $981/mt, up $5/mt on the day, $1 above the bid heard at $980/mt with the offer at $990/mt. March was assessed at $1,005/mt, down $4/mt in line with two trades heard at $1,005/mt and also within a bid offer range of $1,000-1,010/mt.

Fundamentals remain tight in Europe

European toluene started the week with fundamentals unchanged. The market entered a tight supply environment in January, as production issues in Europe followed the seasonal malaise over the winter holidays. The production difficulties in question for toluene are expected to be resolved by the end of the month, according to sources. Arbitrage opportunities for the toluene market remained shut at the end of last week, with European pricing higher than forward dates seen in the US and in Asia. The Asian market slipped $12/mt on Tuesday to $595/mt FOB Korea and $629/mt CFR China. End-users were in no rush to buy toluene or MX, sources said, as factories were yet to restart following the Lunar New Year holidays. Downstream plastics demand has been a demand-booster globally for toluene, with paraxylene margins through disproportionation of toluene consistently positive. This spread was last seen at $306/mt in Europe on Tuesday. Increased demand was seen in the US on Tuesday, with prices up by 4 cents to 221 cents/gal (around $682/mt). Supply in the US market was also described as tight, matching Europe.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global CSG assessed the CIF ARA toluene premium over Eurobob gasolineat $185/mt for February on Tuesday, stable from Tuesday. A trader indicated that the market was unchanged, with outright prices in a range of $690-$700/mt. Movement in Eurobob barge swaps for February did not disprove the premium. The March premium was assessed at $182.75/mt, stable from Tuesday with no disproving indications.

Phillips 66 lifts Lukoil

Phillips 66 lifted Lukoil’s offer in the Market on Close assessment process Friday, narrowing the discount to Northwest Europe. Lukoil came in with an offer at 157 cents/gal FOB USG, walking it down to 156.75 cents/gal FOB USG, where it was lifted by Phillips 66. Friday’s trade moves the discount to the FOB ARA marker to minus 1.17 cents, down from minus 3.49 cents Wednesday, as Gulf Coast pricing neared parity with Northwest Europe. Last Friday, the previously stable premium reversed into a discount, where it has remained for the entirety of the week. Sources have attributed weaker pricing to situations unfolding in Venezuela and Mexico, with multiple participants pointing to length in the market. Related energy softened day on day, with NYMEX March RBOB falling 3.33 cents day on day to $1.4258/gal. Blended and shipped values were last estimated at near 208 cents/gal while the MTBE factor relative to gasoline was 1.0944. Elsewhere, the FOB Singapore was $2 lower at $613/mt while FOB ARA fell 5.07 cents to 157.92 cents/gal.

RATIONALE:

Spot USG MTBE was assessed Friday at 156.75 cents/gal FOB USG, down 2.75 cents day on day, in line with a deal done in the Csg Market on Close assessment process.

pexels-photo-261706-min
pexels-photo-261706-min

Solvent mixed xylene noticed lower

Solvent-grade mixed xylene was assessed $10/mt lower week on week on Friday at $610/mt FOB Korea on lower selling ideas, while demand — particularly from China — remained sluggish due to the Lunar New Year holidays. Many market participants were already absent from the market. Meanwhile, South Korean parcels were moving into Southeast Asia, where margins were better than China, market sources said. In plant news, Korea Petrochemical Industry Co. plans to shut its benzene-toluene-xylene plant in Onsan for about one month of maintenance in April, a market source said. The plant has the capacity to produce 180,000 mt/year of benzene, 70,000 mt/ year of toluene and 40,000 mt/year of solvent-grade mixed xylene. South Korea’s LG Chem is planning to shut its Daesan aromatics plant for 35 days of maintenance in March, a source close to the company said. The plant can produce 24,000 mt/year of solvent-grade mixed xylene, along with 264,000 mt/year of benzene and 54,000 mt/year of toluene. Maintenance at the plant will overlap with the turnaround at the upstream cracker, as previously reported by  . MX inventories in eastern China were heard to be steady at around 61,000 mt. Rationale Solvent-MX was assessed down $10/mt week on week at $600/mt FOB Korea Friday on the back of lower discussions. A deal at $625/ mt FOB Korea was not considered in the assessment as the size was too small. Another producer said $590/mt FOB Northeast Asia might be a workable price, although similarly acknowledged it was not a firm offer. No bids or offers were heard during the  Market on Close assessment process. The CFR China marker was assessed at $620/ mt, unchanged on thin trade and prevailing discussions. The Southeast Asia marker was assessed at $660/mt CFR, reflecting decreases in the broader market. The CFR India marker was assessed at $664/ mt, down $10/mt, based on the freight differential of $64/mt between Korea and India.

Acetic acid and VAM market update

Asian acetic markets were steady this week, and had yet to catch up with upstream methanol markets, which have firmed over the past two weeks oversupply issues. A stronger Chinese yuan lent support to China’s domestic and FOB prices in the past month. As such, domestic prices this week were little changed from last week, at around Yuan 3,150/mt Friday, up Yuan 50/mt on week. The Chinese yuan has risen 3.3% since October on optimism that the US-China trade tensions will ease, and the two major economies could reach a trade deal soon. Meanwhile, demand for acetic acid across Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia was stable amid ample supplies. “We have to wait for real market direction after the Lunar New Year,” a trader said.

VAM: Upstream ethylene prices have firmed considerably over the past nine weeks, and ethylene-based vinyl acetate monomer producers were feeling the pinch to raise prices, trade sources said. The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene marker was assessed at $1,075/mt Friday, up $35/mt from Thursday, and was last higher at $1,090/mt CFR on October 19,   data showed. Trade sources said they expect Asian VAM markets to become tighter after the Lunar New Year holidays, as producers prioritize shipments to Europe, as the first non-EU 350,000 mt imports enjoy tax concessions. RATIONALE: AA: The CFR Far East Asia and the Southeast Asia AA markers were both unchanged from last week at $445/mt CFR, based on stable market fundamentals. The FOB China price was up $2/mt at $401/mt, against buying indications hear around $395/mt FOB, and discussions at $400-$405/mt FOB. The CFR South Asia marker was assessed at $435/mt, unchanged from last Friday, against offers heard at $430-$440/mt CFR India. VAM: CFR China was assessed at $930/mt Friday, stable from last Friday, amid thin trading. The CFR Southeast Asia and CFR South Asia prices were unchanged week on week at $895/mt and $830/mt, respectively, amid stable market fundamentals.

Ethylene prices noticed strong in Asia

Asian ethylene continued firming Friday, rising $10/mt day on day, buoyed by healthy spot demand in China ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays next week. On a week on week basis, spot prices rose $45/mt. Participants were completing last minute buying in the spot market this week, driven by firm demand from the styrene monomer sector where margins have been positive. This week, the Asian styrene monomer margin was hovering above $100/mt, in line with firmer spot styrene prices, according to data. Market sources said spot demand also emerged in China for ethylene-oxide following the recent EO capacity expansion there. Asian monoethylene glycol margins have been hovering at around minus $150-$180/mt this week,  data showed. Looking forward, market sources said it was unclear if Asian ethylene would continue rising as margins for most ethylene derivatives were currently negative. Asian polyethylene ethylene margin was calculated at minus $45/mt Friday, much lower than a typical breakeven spread of plus $150/mt, according to data. Some market sources said integrated producers would start considering selling spot ethylene cargoes, reducing their downstream plant runs amid positive ethylene margins. The recent strength in Asian ethylene pushed up the ethylene-naphtha spread above $570/mt this week, the highest level since September 2018,  data showed. The spread is higher than a breakeven spread of $350/mt. Rationale Spot prices rose $10/mt day on day to be assessed at $1,085/mt CFR Northeast Asia and $985/mt CFR Southeast Asia Friday. The tradable level was in the high-$1,000s/mt CFR Northeast Asia and high-$900s/ mt CFR Southeast Asia Friday. Rationale CFR China MEG price was assessed flat day on day at $625/mt on Friday for 15-30 days forward cargoes, reflecting a trade discussion heard at this level, and below an offer heard at $630/mt. China domestic price was assessed flat at Yuan 5,100/mt over the same period, reflecting tradable discussions heard at this level. CFR Southeast Asia MEG was assessed up $7/mt week on week at $630/mt on Friday, for 15-30 days forward cargoes, amid thin trade discussions, $5/mt higher than the CFR China marker.