Ammonium Sulphate Price in India

Asian PX (Chemical Industry): Rises $3.67/mt on day amid tight supply

Chemical Industry

– GS Caltex cuts run rate at No.3 PX plant: sources

– Backwardation between May and June widens $2/mt

Asian paraxylene Chemical Industrial Market prices rose $3.67/mt day on day to be assessed at $1,068/mt CFR Taiwan/China with the backwardation between May and June widening to $15/mt from $13/mt on Monday. The wider spread between May and June pointed to a tight availability of May cargoes, as was seen on the S&P Global  Chemical Industry on Close assessment process Monday where only bids for May cargoes seen and no offers. A deal was done on the  MOC between Macquarie and Mitsubishi for a May cargo at $1,079/mt CFR Taiwan/China for Asian-origin material. All the other bids for May cargoes were left unfulfilled. Meanwhile, traders in Asia said Monday that GS Caltex had lowered run rate at its No. 3 PX plant with 550,000 mt/year production capacity. The lower rates could continue for a week, they added. One trader said that the run rate was down to around 60% (Chemical Industry), but this could not be confirmed. The run rate was lowered because of an issue with a catalyst, added another Asian source. However, this could not be confirmed either from GS Caltex. Traders said that the impact of the cut in operations would be limited since only around 5,000 mt of PX and 3,000 mt of benzene production would be impacted and there would be no effect on Asian PX prices. The CFR Southeast Asia PX marker was assessed up $30/mt week on week at $1,059/mt CFR Southeast Asia. The marker was assessed at a discount of $9/mt to the CFR Taiwan/China marker.

RATIONALE:

Asian PX prices were assessed up $3.67/mt day on day at $1,068/mt CFR Taiwan/China and $1,049/mt FOB Korea Chemical Industry Monday. The markers take an average of the second-half May and first-half and second-half June laycans. The June laycan was assessed at the pegged level of $1,063/mt, between an outstanding bid for an Asia-origin June cargo from Hengli at $1,063/mt which was normalized for origin restriction and an offer from BP at $1064/mt. The May laycans were assessed at $1,078/mt CFR Taiwan/China, at the level of the last May trade between Mitsubishi and Macquarie, and above an outstanding bid for Asian-origin May cargo by Hengli at $1,074/mt, which was normalized for a restriction in origin. The June laycans were assessed at a $15/mt backwardation to the H2 May laycan, up $2/mt on day. The above rationale applies to the following Chemical Industry data codes: “PHASS05” for FOB Korea and “AAQNE00” for CFR Taiwan/China.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Styrene Imported Data

Chemical Industry

Flat on day amid rangebound discussions

SM inventory drops 3,100 mt at 229,600 mt

Asian styrene monomer was $19/mt lower on the week at $1,071/mt CFR China and $1,031/mt FOB Korea Friday on the bearish sentiment despite stronger upstream crude (Imported data). Day on day, styrene was assessed flat amid rangebound discussions. Prices were initially lower earlier in the day before recovering to end the day stable. In the CFR China Imported Data, a bid was heard at $1,065/mt for June-arrival cargoes but it did not attract any selling interest. In the east China domestic market, the prompt marker was assessed at Yuan 8,200/mt ex-tank Friday, Yuan 10/mt higher day on day. At 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), ICE June Brent futures were up $2.29/b (3.316%) on the week at $71.35/b Friday. Imported Data has been rather “directionless” Friday amid weak buying interests, a market  participant said. According to sources, styrene inventory in east China fell 3,100 mt on the week at 229,600 mt, where consumption of 23,100 mt outstripped arrivals of 20,000 mt. Despite the recent continuing drawdown in styrene inventory, it hasn’t been a supporting factor to prices and sentiments given that the current level remains much higher than historical  Imported data,  Market sources said. Styrene inventory in east China is 154,500 mt higher as compared to the same period last year. Market  participants further noted that the earlier news of China’s Changzhou New Solar Chemical shutting its 300,000 mt/year styrene monomer plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu for 20-25 days of unplanned maintenance from April 15 might have some short-term influence on styrene when the plant starts maintenance coming Friday. The CFR India and Southeast Asia markers were assessed down $19/mt on the week at $1,064/mt and $1,061/mt Friday, respectively.

Rationale

Asian SM was assessed stable on the day at $1,071/mt CFR China and $1,031/mt FOB Korea Imported data Friday. The markers currently take the average of the H1 May and H2 May laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the Platts market on Close assessment process on Friday. H1 and H2 Jun were assessed at $1,071/mt CFR China Imported data, above the best bid heard at $1,065/mt with no offer heard. Maintaining the pegged flat May/Jun spread, H1 and H2 May were assessed at $1,071/ mt, also tracking firmer sentiments in the east China domestic market in the afternoon. In the east China domestic Chemical Industry, the prompt marker was assessed up Yuan 10/mt on the day at Yuan 8,200/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,058.37/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,031/mt, based on the pegged $40/ mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,059/mt, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China Imported data.

Imported Data
Imported Data

NWE Styrene – Spot prices fall tracking fall in Asia

Chemical Industry

– May traded at $1,085/mt

– Stricter safety checks in China

European styrene spot prices fell Friday tracking the fall in Asian prices. S&P Global  assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,086/mt FOB ARA Friday, down $14 on the day. A 1,000 mt trade was reported for May at $1,085/mt in the morning trading session. Following the early trade buyers and sellers were far apart with bids at $1,070/mt and offers at $1,090/mt for prompt and forward months. In Asia, styrene extended its losses, sliding $16 on the day to $1,071/mt CFR China and $1,031/mt FOB Korea Friday on bearish sentiment after the latest inventory data showed an increase in stockpiles. The market continues to keep a close eye on the impact of the stricter safety checks in China. A market source said prices were likely to hover around current levels unless there was a significant increase in buying which might reduce inventory. Downstream, following extensive buying earlier this year, demand has slowed in April following the rise in styrene monomer. The rise in the styrene contract price by Eur97.50 to Eur1,152.50/mt caused buyers to buy in line with their needs, market sources said.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global  assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,086/mt FOB ARA Friday, down $14 on the day. April was assessed at $1,087/mt, down $14 on the day, based on a stable $2 backwardation to May and within the bid offer range of $1,070-$1,090/mt. May was assessed at $1,085/mt, down $14 on the day, within the bid offer range of $1,070-$1,090/mt and in line with an earlier trade at $1,085/mt.

 

growth-3
growth-3

NWE Oxo Alcohols: I-butanols down Eur20/mt, Chemical Industrys long

Chemical Industry

S&P Global Friday assessed normal butanol up Eur10 on the week at Eur950/mt, within a range heard of Eur940-Eur960/mt, with Eur950-Eur960/mt heard as the most tradable values. However, most regions were oversupplied, and material was heard widely available both from domestic suppliers and importers. The slight move in spot prices this week was attributed to a lack of spot volumes as most product went to contract customers and partly to the impact of upstream propylene increases in April. In iso-butanols, Chemical Industry sentiment was bearish and oversupply was more marked than in N-butanols. Availability of imports, especially from Russia, also weighed on the Chemical Industry, far exceeding demand. Spot prices were heard in a wide range, depending on volume, of Eur800-Eur860/mt. Even below Eur800/mt was heard traded by one buyer, while export prices were heard also around Eur800/mt from NWE. S&P Global Friday assessed iso-butanol spot prices down Eur20 on the week at Eur810/mt, just below the lowest producer’s peg at Eur820/mt. April contract prices for propylene derivative oxo-alcohols were heard finalized at a rollover as feedstock cost increases of Eur20 were mainly rejected by the Chemical Industry due to the lack of demand. “It is April now, a high season for coatings, but its not happening yet,” a source said. However, 2-eh bucked the trend. Significant falls had been avoided, and the Chemical Industry was heard stabilizing in a range of Eur1,050-Eur1,060/mt — even Eur1,070-Eur1,080/mt was heard possible by a producer. “Customers first said: ‘Spot prices should be lowered even though C3 went up.’ There was pressure, [but] right now it eased off,” a source said. S&P Global Friday assessed 2-eh up Eur10 week on week at Eur1,060/mt on more bullish sentiment and greater buying interest. In addition, the startup of normal operations at Sibur’s new 100,000 mt a year dioctyl terephthalate plant in Russia’s Perm Krai region have begun and are already reducing availability of 2-eh in Western Europe, Chemical Industry sources said Friday. This might lend further support to prices, which have been under downward pressure since the beginning of the year on weaker demand from the construction sector because of continued economic uncertainty. The PA flake Chemical Industry was stable, with the main issue discussed upstream ortho-xylene production issues limiting access to raw materials for PA flake producers. Also, Chemical Industry participants were awaiting April contract price settlement for feedstock orthoxylene. Sources said the contract discussions were complicated and still continuing this week, with expectations of an increase to around Eur900/mt from Eur860/mt in March. S&P Chemical Industry Global Friday assessed PA flake spot prices at Eur940/mt FD NWE, stable on week, awaiting movement in raw materials prices.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Oxo Alcohols: SE Asia PA Chemical Industry up $20/mt as buying gains pace

Chemical Industry

– Aekyung to shut 210,000 mt/year PA plant May 7

– Nan Ya to run 2-EH unit full capacity by end Apr

The phthalic anhydride Chemical Industry in Southeast Asia continued to trend higher this week as buyers jostle for cargoes, as more producers from Northeast Asia were gearing up for turnarounds next month. South Korea’s Aekyung Petrochemical plans to shut its 210,000 mt/year phthalic anhydride plant at Ulsan on May 7 for three weeks of scheduled maintenance, a Chemical Industrial company  source said Friday. The shut down is expected to result in a production loss of 12,000 mt, S&P Global Friday estimated. PA is mainly used in the manufacture of dioctyl phthalate, which is a plasticizer. “It takes three months to reach normal operation rate, so we can only operate fully in the end of July,” said a company source with Aekyung. Taiwan’s Nan Ya Plastics aims to run its 2-ethyl hexanol unit at full capacity by end April after the plant restarted March 20 following an unexpected shutdown on March 18, a Chemical Industrisl company source said Friday. The 2-EH unit is located at Mailiao and has a production capacity of 205,000 mt/year. The unit was shut down unexpectedly due to a technical issue. “We are only running at 85% of our operating rate at the moment due to some technical problem, but we will reach full output capacity by end April,” said a company source. Nan Ya Plastics is the largest 2-EH producer in Taiwan.

RATIONALE:

Dioctyl phthalate was assessed down $10/mt on week at $1,045/mt CFR China Chemical Industry  Friday, above a buying indication at $1,040/mt, and above a selling indication at $1,050/mt. The CFR SEA marker was assessed unchanged over the same period at $1,290/mt. Phthalic anhydride was assessed unchanged on week at $940/mt CFR China, below a selling indication at $970/mt and above a buying indication at $930/mt. The CFR SEA Chemical Industry was assessed up $20/mt on week at $1,060/mt, based on trades concluded in the range of $1,040-$1,090/mt CFR SEA. 2-EH was assessed unchanged on week at $1,060/mt CFR China, with trading indications at the same level. The SEA marker was assessed unchanged on week at $1,100/mt in quiet trading. Normal butanol was assessed down $10/mt at $910/mt CFR China, below an offer at $930/mt CFR China Chemical Industry. The SEA marker was flat at $890/mt CFR, below a selling indication at $900/mt.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asia and Middle East Naphtha Market Commentary

Chemical Industry

The Asian naphtha market remained under downward pressure due to lukewarm buying interest from Far East Asian end-users for H2 May delivery clips as some crackers in Northeast Asia were shut for scheduled maintenance, sources said Thursday. In addition, an aromatics plant outage at Taiwan’s privately-owned Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. (FCFC) has reduced Formosa Petrochemical Corp.’s (FPC) requirements for heavy naphtha and may have some impact on its steam cracking naphtha demand. FPC will not be seeking heavy naphtha for second-half May delivery, while its paraffinic naphtha requirements were still unclear after Sunday’s explosion and fire at one of its aromatics plants, a company spokesman said. An explosion and subsequent fire that broke out at FCFC’s No. 3 aromatics plant at Mailiao resulted in disruption to the link that diverts pygas from the cracker unit. “The feed into that aromatics plant is pygas produced by their cracker, so if the aromatics plant is shut down due to the explosion, then the cracker cannot run and store the pygas produced,” a Singapore-based market source said. Formosa’s cracker was heard running at lower rates due to the shutdown of the aromatics unit, a Singapore-based LPG trader said. This could not be confirmed with Formosa. One of the company’s olefins buyers said that Formosa is still attempting to run its steam cracker at 100%. Reflecting the weaker market, the CFR Japan naphtha crack against front-month June ICE Brent crude futures contract fell to $37.25/mt at the Asian close Tuesday, down from $41.43/mt the previous day. The crack was pegged at $40.20/mt at 0300 GMT Thursday. Spot cash differential for CFR Japan naphtha fell to a near three-month low of $4.25/mt Tuesday. The differential was last lower on January 15 at $3/mt, S&P Global  data showed. Meanwhile, supply continued to stream out from India. State-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. was offering 35,000 mt of naphtha with minimum 76% paraffin and maximum 350 ppm sulfur for May 2-3 loading from Kochi in a tender closing April 12, with same-day validity. In plant news, India’s state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.’s 8.3 million mt/year Vizag refinery on the east coast is running normally after a major fire disrupted operations for a couple of hours over the weekend, company officials said. The fire broke at the continuous catalytic reformer on Thursday afternoon and was contained in about half an hour. “The refinery operation is smooth with no hiccups,” a refinery official said.

NWE Benzene – Benzene Chemical Industry pushes higher

Chemical Industry

– 5-30 day price up $10/mt

– Downstream styrene picks up

The European benzene Chemical Industry ticked up on Wednesday, as bidding for April cargoes continued to rise, despite the upstream energy rally coming to a halt. The 5-30 day forward benzene assessment rose $9.50/mt to $716/mt CIF ARA Wednesday. Conversely, the 16:30 London time assessment of ICE Brent crude was down 18 cents at $70.67/b. Downstream, 5,000 mt of styrene trades were concluded over April and May. Trading was due to the upcoming turnaround at the Shell POSM plant in Moerdijk, as well as others set over the next couple of months. The balance between turnarounds for steam crackers versus downstream styrene producers has been a subject of concern for players in the benzene Chemical Industry, with the most significant Chemical Industry developments during Q2 expected to come from deviations in the projected schedule. The benzene-styrene spread was $385/mt on Wednesday, up $16/mt from Wednesday. The spread has trended in decline from March into April, since a high point of $450/mt for the year in mid-March.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global Wednesday assessed benzene  Chemical Industry for delivery 5-30 days forward at $716/mt CIF ARA Wednesday, up $9.50/mt from Wednesday. April was assessed up $10/mt at $721/mt, within a bid-offer range of $720-$740/mt. May was assessed up $10/mt at $706/mt, within a bid-offer range of $695-$720/mt and keeping a backwardation of $15/mt to April. June was assessed at $695/mt, up $10/mt, in line with May. July was assessed at $694/mt, up $10/mt, in line with June. August was assessed flat to July. FOB was assessed at $716/mt, flat to CIF (Chemical Industry).

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

PTA Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry

Market sentiment causes volatile Chinese PTA „„

PTA imports cheaper post VAT revision

Asian purified terephthalic acid spot trade discussions were quiet Friday amid the Chinese Chemical Industry. The PTA CFR China Chemical industry was relatively stable this week, but the China domestic PTA prices fell by Yuan 195/mt early this week, followed by a rebound of Yuan 170/mt day on day Friday. Chinese trade participants were speculative this week amid the turnaround news. “Even though Chinese PTA prices were volatile this week, the overall trend remains stable within a longer time frame [of around 2-3 weeks],” a PTA buyer said, adding that price fluctuation was mainly driven by chemical industry sentiment. With the value added tax cut from 16% to 13% effective April 1, PTA imports became cheaper than China domestic products, with the average spread of around $11/mt this week. As a result, there were active buying inquiries heard, with CFR China deals closed for 2,000 mt-20,000 mt cargoes from northeast Asia. Similarly, even though upstream PX was volatile throughout this week, the CFR Taiwan/China marker was assessed at $1,039.88/mt in average this week, similar to the average of $1039.65/ mt last week. In India chemical industry, demand from the textile sector was heard to have not improved, leading to accumulation in polyester finished goods, a few producers said. The inventories were high enough to meet demand for the next three weeks, sources said. Nevertheless, there were “still no major production cuts” in the polyester sector amid expectations of improvement, leading to healthy demand for PTA, sources said. Spot discussions were scarce for CFR India Chemical Industrial market this week. In plant news, China’s TongkunGroup plans to shut its 2.2 million mt/year PTA line in Zhapu, Zhejiang, for around 15-20 days of maintenance from early April, a company source said Friday. China’s Hengli Petrochemical plans to shut its 2.2 million mt/year No. 1 PTA unit in Dalian for 15 days maintenance from April 15, a company source said Friday. China’s Fujian Fuhaichuang Petrochemical plans to shut its 1.6 million mt/year paraxylene and 4.5 million mt/year PTA plants in Gulei, Fujian province, early May for at least two weeks, a company source said Friday (chemical industry). Separately, multiple chemical plant explosions in China increased concerns over stricter safety inspections. According to market sources close to major polyester and purified terephthalic acid companies in east China, there has not been any official statement yet regarding shutdown for safety inspection. The sources added that the impact was “terrible” with stricter safety regulations expected soon.

Rationale

The CFR China PTA Chemical Industrial price was assessed flat day on day at $840/mt on Friday for 15-30 days forward cargoes, with scarce discussions amid the Chinese public holiday. China prompt domestic price was assessed flat at Yuan 6,510/mt over the same period for the Chemical Industry. Both CFR Southeast Asia PTA and CFR India PTA were assessed down $5/ mt week on week at $850/mt on Friday, amid scarce spot discussion this week, keeping the spread at $10/mt against CFR China.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

The European daily methanol price was assessed up Eur3/mt to Eur270/mt.

Chemical Industry

– Stable domestic market

– Venezuela disruption may prompt more buying

The European daily methanol price was assessed up Eur3/mt to Eur270/mt FOB Rotterdam for the 5-30 day laycan Wednesday. On the week, the price was down Eur7.50/mt, however, after spot market activity softened in the days following the industry-settled second quarter methanol contract price being agreed at a rollover of Eur350/mt. The market saw a slight uptick in activity on Wednesday following a slow start to the week. A deal was heard at Eur270/mt early Wednesday. Overall, the market in Europe was heard to be relatively stable and as a result, attention was turned to other parts of the world and their potential impact on the European market. One trader said that while little change could be expected in the European market in April, the situation in Venezuela — already encouraging buying activity in Europe — remains unclear and may have a further impact.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global  assessed the FOB Rotterdam 5-30 day spot price up Eur3/mt on the day to Eur270/mt Wednesday. Mid-April was assessed at Eur270/mt, in line with a deal and within a bid-offer range heard at Eur268-272/mt. Mid-May was assessed at Eur271/mt, Eur1/mt below the offer and in a bid-offer range heard at Eur268-272/mt. A structure in contango with a daily increase of Eur0.037/mt was drawn between the two dates and extended to remaining laycan dates.

 

growth-3
growth-3

Market participants in the spot USG MTBE market assessed.

Chemical Industry

– Gulf Coast remains flat to Europe

– Market considers upstream constraints

Market participants in the spot USG MTBE market assessed the impact of shipping delays in the Houston Ship Channel Wednesday, as pricing remained flat to Northwest Europe. On Wednesday, the Houston Ship Channel was declared open to all traffic by the Captain of the Port, though transits through the contamination zone were limited to one-way daylight transits. Water contamination in the Houston Ship Channel began to cause delays Friday, with market participants still assessing the impact Wednesday morning. “Shipping delays are affecting just about everything,” one source said, while a second corroborated the claim. A third source also considered upstream methanol constraints caused by logistics in the region. “Might see some supply disruptions from lack of feedstock.” Related energy weakened on the day, with NYMEX April RBOB down 6.02 cents to $1.8955/gal. Blended and shipped values were last estimated at 274 cents/gal, while the MTBE factor relative to gasoline was at 1.0830. In other regions, the FOB Singapore marker was up $5/mt (about 1.41 cents/gal) to $724/mt (about 203.71 cents/gal).

RATIONALE:

Spot USG MTBE was assessed at 203.15 cents/gal FOB USG, down 4.64 cents on the day. Gulf Coast pricing was kept flat to its Northwest European counterpart, unchanged on the day.