Naphtha Price in India

Asian Styrene: Surges $33.50/mt from Tuesday; $1,051/mt CFR China

Chemical Industry

– Amid falling inventories, tracks rising benzene

– China’s manufacturing PMI at 50.5 March

 

Asian styrene monomer surged $33.50/mt from Tuesday to $1,051/mt CFR China and $1,011/mt FOB Korea Tuesday amid falling inventories in east China, and tracking the rise in upstream western crude and benzene. There is a rollover in laycans from the average of H2 April and H1 May laycans to H1 and H2 May laycans, in a contango market structure. In the CFR China market, H1 and H2 May were assessed at $1,051/mt, between the best bid heard at $1,050/mt and against the best offer heard at $1,090/mt. The east China domestic market started the day relatively stable before firming in the afternoon, with the May marker closing the day at Yuan 8,075/mt, up Yuan 235/mt from Tuesday. At the 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), June ICE Brent crude futures were assessed 49 cents/b (0.719%) higher on the day at $68.60/b. Styrene inventories in east China are around 370,000 mt Tuesday, down 33,000 mt on the week, while consumption of 45,000 mt exceeded arrivals of 12,000 mt, market sources said. Despite rebounding for the second straight day, market participants remain bearish and are conservative whether the price uptrend is sustainable. Market sources noted that more positive news or factors is likely necessary for sentiment to improve. In the latest China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index released, the reading for March jumped to 50.5, above the critical 50 level, from 49.2 in February. In market news, the reduction in China’s value added taxes from 16% to 13%, that was announced by the Chinese government earlier, kicked in Tuesday, April 1.

RATIONALE:

Asian SM was assessed up $33.50/mt from Tuesday at $1,051/mt CFR China and $1,011/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. The markers currently take the average of the H1 May and H2 May laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the  Market on Close assessment process on Tuesday. H1 and H2 May were assessed at $1,051/mt, between the best bid heard at $1,050/mt against the best offer heard at $1,090/mt. In the East China domestic market, the May marker was assessed up Yuan 245/mt on the day at Yuan 8,075/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,042.65/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,011/mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,039/mt, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.

European MTBE fell $16.50/mt on the day to $722/mt FOB ARA on Wednesday.

– MTBE factor to EBOB narrows

– ETBE premium firms despite spot offer

European MTBE fell $16.50/mt on the day to $722/mt FOB ARA on Wednesday, on the back of an offer from Shell which was lowered and left outstanding at the end of the Platts Market on Close assessment process. Conflicting views on buying interest heard Wednesday. “There was good demand, but at current levels it is slowing down,” one source said. However, a blender said that there was a feel of more demand recently due to enhanced export opportunities from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub. Meanwhile crude oil increased slightly on the day, with the ICE Brent front-month London 16:30 assessment up 15 cents at $67.95/b Wednesday, while the EBOB barges April swap was assessed down $9.50/mt from Tuesday at $634.50/mt. MTBE’s premium over EBOB front month swaps was calculated at $87.50/mt, down $7/mt. In Asia, the MTBE marker was up $5/mt at $724/mt FOB Singapore, tracking 92 RON gasoline amid thin liquidity. The Asian MTBE factor was down from 1.133 the day before at 1.132. The European ETBE price was assessed at $862/mt FOB AR on Wednesday, down from $878.50/mt on Tuesday, at a stable premium to MTBE, despite Neste’s $894/mt offer in Platts Market on Close assessment window.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global Platts assessed European MTBE at $722/mt FOB ARA Wednesday, down $16.50/mt from Tuesday, below the sharpest outstanding offer at the end of the Platts Market on Close assessment window. The outstanding offer, at $723/mt loading mid window by Shell, disproved Tuesday’s MTBE factor. ETBE was assessed at an $140/mt premium to MTBE Wednesday, stable to Tuesday. Neste offered a $894/mt loading front end cargo in the Platts Market on Close assessment process Wednesday but the offer did not disprove Tuesday’s ETBE premium.

 

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.

 

NWE Styrene – Spot prices fall tracking Asia decline.

– Benzene falls $13.50/mt on the day

– Chinese inventories fall 28,500 mt

European styrene spot prices fell significantly Thursday, tracking declines in Asia. S&P Global Thursday assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,129/mt FOB ARA, down $39/mt on the day. Spot prices appeared to have readjusted following significant buying activity earlier in the week. On Thursday, April and May cargoes were traded at $1,170/mt and 1,160/mt respectively as a major global plastics manufacturer was heard securing large volumes of styrene. Uncertainty lingered Thursday following the fire at petrochemical tanks belonging to the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) along the Houston Ship Channel. Market participants were closely monitoring the market amid talk of delayed styrene shipments to Europe. Upstream, benzene was assessed at $719/mt CIF ARA Thursday, $13.50/mt lower on the day. In Asia, according to market sources, styrene inventory in east China fell 28,500 mt on the week to 325,000 mt, with consumption of 35,500 mt outstripping arrivals of 7,000 mt. Despite the week-on-week decline, sources said that total inventory remains high and consumption has been weaker than expected. Styrene slid $30/mt on the day to a two-month low of $1,042.50/mt CFR China.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global Thursday assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,129/mt FOB ARA Thursday, down $39/mt on the day. April was assessed at $1,129/mt, down $40/mt on the day, within the best bid-offer range at $1,100-1,130/mt. May was assessed at $1,114/mt, down $45/mt on the day, within the best bid-offer range at $1,100-1,115/mt.

 

The Asian naphtha market was seeing reduced demand from steam crackers for naphtha

Chemical Industry

The Asian naphtha market was seeing reduced demand from steam crackers for naphtha with minimum paraffin content of 65% and 70%, owing to scheduled steam cracker turnarounds in Northeast Asia, market sources said. At least one steam cracker in Japan and two plants in South Korea — with a combined ethylene production capacity of 2.07 million mt/year — are idling their units for maintenance in April. While demand for paraffinic naphtha is low, supply for April delivery from the the West is also expected to dip. Some 1.5 million mt of arbitrage volume is expected from the US and Europe, compared with around 1.8 million mt expected for March arrival. “Turnarounds make demand low, but I don’t see it [market] as weak,” said an Asian trader. Despite weaker demand from the petrochemical sector, demand for naphtha for gasoline blending is looking up, helped by a strengthening gasoline market. “The gasoline market is currently very supported … demand for blending, as a result, has rebounded in the past few weeks,” one Singapore-based gasoline trader said. Reflecting stronger blending demand, the Singapore reforming margins have firmed. The April Singapore reforming spread — the spread between FOB Singapore 92 RON gasoline and FOB Singapore naphtha derivative — surged to a near seven-month high of $12.36/b on March 8, as gasoline rose on the back of a tightening in supply. The reforming spread was last higher on August 15, 2018, at $12.45/b, S&P Global  data showed. In the spot market Tuesday, some buying interest emerged from South Korea for H2 April-delivery cargo. South Korea’s Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Center issued a tender Tuesday seeking open-spec naphtha with minimum 70% paraffin content for H2-April delivery into Yeosu, market sources said. YNCC last bought an unknown volume of similar grade naphtha for H1 April delivery to Yeosu at a premium of around $4-$5/mt to the MOPJ naphtha assessments, on a CFR basis, pricing 30 days prior to delivery.

NW Europe Naphtha: Bids/offers/trades, Exclusions

Mathanol Prices

Bids/offers/trades:

NAPHTHA CARGO CIF NWE MOC deals: TRADES: No trades reported. NAPHTHA  CARGO CIF NWE MOC: OUTSTANDING INTEREST:BIDS: 1) GLENCOREUK Bid,  Naphtha NWE Crg 12.5 KT +/- 10%, pricing $524/mt, laycan Mar 23 – Mar 27, TQC Indic 4; 2) GLENCOREUK Bid,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 24 KT, pricing $525/mt, laycan Mar 22 – Mar 26, TQC Indic 1: optol +3; 3) STASCO Bid,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 28 KT, pricing $526/mt, laycan Mar 21 – Mar 25, TQC indic 1, optol +2; 4) GLENCOREUK Bid,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 28 KT, pricing $525/mt, laycan Mar 22 – Mar 26, TQC Indic 2: optol +3; 5) STASCO Bid,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 32 KT, pricing $523/mt, laycan Mar 21 – Mar 25, TQC indic 2, optol at +2; 6) GLENCOREUK Bid,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 32 KT, pricing $525/mt, laycan Mar 22 – Mar 26, TQC Indic 3: optol +3; OFFERS: 1) BP Offer,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 28 KT, pricing $527/mt, laycan Mar 28 – Apr 01, TQC indic 1 optol +3; 2) PTRIN Offer,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 28 KT, pricing $528/mt, laycan Mar 28 – Apr 01, TQC indic 1: 0-4kt optol @ +3; 3) TRAFI Offer,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 28 KT, pricing $528/mt, laycan Mar 17 – Mar 21, TQC indic 1, optol +3.00; 4) VITOL Offer,  Naphtha NWE Crg min qty 32 KT, pricing $529/mt, laycan Mar 28 – Apr 01, TQC optol +4.

Asian Styrene: Prices held stable on the day, $1,061.50/mt CFR China

– Slightly bearish sentiments, recent weakness in SM

– Downstream markets flat on week amid poor demand

 

The Asian styrene monomer price held steady at $1,061.50/mt CFR China and at $1,021.50/mt FOB Korea Thursday , tracking stable ethylene prices. In China, prices were moving in mixed directions. The prompt marker fell Yuan 20/mt to Yuan 8,250/mt ex-tank while the March marker was stable at Yuan 8,360/mt ex-tank Thursday . At 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), ICE April Brent crude futures were down 24 cents/b (0.361%) on the day at $66.31/b. Sources noted that while the market expected softer styrene prices since Chinese downstream end-users have yet to return, the persistent decline in prices has affected the confidence level among market participants resulting in slightly bearish sentiments lately. According to market sources, East China inventory stood at 335,500 mt, up 29,000 mt week-on-week, with arrivals of 55,500 mt outstripping consumption of 26,500 mt. In the related downstream markets, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene prices were unchanged week on week at $1,500/mt CFR China and $1,530/mt CFR Southeast Asia amid muted demand although higher offers were heard in the week. In the polystyrene market, general purpose polystyrene prices remained flat from the previous week at $1,250/mt CFR China and $1,260/mt CFR Southeast Asia while high-impact polystyrene was flat at $1,340/mt CFR China and $1,335/mt CFR Southeast Asia Thursday , amid weak demand following the Lunar New Year holidays.

 

RATIONALE:

Asian SM was assessed flat on the day at $1,061.50/mt CFR China and $1,021.50/mt FOB Korea Thursday . The CFR China and FOB Korea SM markers currently take the average of the H2 March and H1 April laycans. There were no transparent bids and offers during the   Market on Close assessment process on Thursday . H2 March was assessed at $1,059/mt, tracking firmer sentiments in the east China domestic March marker in the afternoon. Maintaining the pegged Mar/Apr spread of minus $5/mt, the April laycans were assessed at $1,064/mt CFR China. The East China domestic March marker was assessed at Yuan 8,360/mt ex-tank Thursday , unchanged day on day. On an import parity basis, this is approximately $1,046/mt. FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,021.50/mt Thursday , based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,049.50/mt Thursday , based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.

Falls $13/mt amid slow demand outlook

Asian styrene monomer fell $13/mt from last Tuesday to $1,074/mt CFR China and $1,024/mt FOB Korea Tuesday on expectations that buying interest from downstream markets would not pick up strongly this week. Discussion remained muted as participants began returning to the market after week-long Lunar New Year holidays. In the east China domestic market, the prompt marker was assessed down Yuan 140/mt from last Tuesday at Yuan 8,430/mt ex-tank Tuesday, equating to $1,056/mt on an import parity basis. Operating rates of producers and buyers in downstream markets were expected to return to normal gradually. “Styrene price movements would depend on the rate at which operations return to pre-holiday rates. Further, new orders are expected to be limited this week,” a market participant in China said. High inventory levels of styrene in east China could also keep prices on a downtrend. The styrene inventory in east China stood at 306,500 mt Tuesday, up 37,000 mt from January 30, market sources said. Feedstock benzene rose $4/mt from last Tuesday to $609/mt CFR China Tuesday, while ethylene rose $15/mt over the same period to $1,100/mt CFR Northeast Asia. SM production margins remain healthy at $106.80/mt, although $20.70/mt lower than a month earlier, according to S&P Global CSG data.

RATIONALE:

Asian SM was assessed down $13/mt from last Tuesday at $1,074/mt CFR China and $1,024/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. The two markers currently take the average of the H1 and H2 March laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the CSG Market on Close assessment process. H1 and H2 March were each assessed at $1,074/mt CFR China. The East China domestic prompt marker was assessed at Yuan 8,430/mt ex-tank, down Yuan 140/mt from last Tuesday, and equating to $1,056/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,024/mt, based on the pegged $50/mt spread to CFR China, and the CFR Taiwan marker at $1,062/mt, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.

Take Decisions Based on Data
Take Decisions Based on Data

S&P Global CSG assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $591/mt

 

S&P Global CSG assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $591/mt Tuesday, up $2/mt from Tuesday’s assessment. Market participants described the benzene market as quiet Tuesday, with one source saying that he had seen “very few” prices indicated on the market. Another source added that “the period after Chinese New Year was supposed to give some direction to the market, but I haven’t seen anything for now.” In addition to muted market activity, a third source said that no benzene trades were conducted Tuesday, although buying activity on the downstream styrene market picked up. Furthermore, the benzene market saw outstanding bids and no offers, with a fourth source commenting that, in his opinion, this was the result of “a thin market and expectations that prices have to recover.” Meanwhile, sources said that the benzene market remained long. The benzene-naphtha spread was seen at $116/mt Tuesday, down from $127.50/mt Tuesday, indicating the persistence of significant supplies of benzene in the market. Upstream, on the crude oil market, the 1630 GMT ICE Brent crude oil futures assessment fell to $61.28/b Tuesday from $61.74/b Tuesday.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global CSG assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $591/mt CIF ARA Tuesday, up $2/mt from Tuesday’s assessment. February was assessed at $586/mt, up $1/mt day-on-day, above the most competitive bid of $585/mt. March was assessed up $1/mt from Tuesday’s assessment at $596/mt, above the most competitive bid of $595/mt and based on a stable February-March contango of $10/mt. April was assessed up $1/mt on the day at $606/mt, above the most competitive bid of $600/mt and based on a stable March-April contango of $10/mt. May and June were assessed flat to April. FOB was assessed at $591/mt, flat to CIF.

toluene price updates
toluene price updates

Phthalic anhydride prices noticed stable to up

Spot trading activity for Phthalic Anhydride gained traction this week as more buyers in Southeast Asia stepped up their purchase of feedstock ahead of the Lunar New Year. “Spot supply for Phthalic Anhydride in SEA is tight and there is strong demand from buyers who want to buy more to stock up their inventories,” a South Korean producer, who sold eight parcels of PA cargoes totalling over 1,200 mt to SEA buyers this week, said. On the other hand, buying interest for Dioctyl Phthalate was reported stronger as Chinese buyers want to stock up before the commencement of the Lunar New Year festivities this week. “I do not think the DOP market in China has really gotten stronger this week, but rather the strengthening of the Chinese Yuan against the greenback this week has made imported material more palatable to them,” a Taiwanese producer, who sold a cargo to Chinese buyer at $1,050/mt CFR China this week, said. The same Taiwanese producer offered at cargo at $1,050/mt CFR China last week, but there were no takers. On the SEA marker, sellers however, had to lower their offers for DOP in the SEA market to entice buying interest.”We sold two cargoes this week, but we have to lower our price as we are eager to offload these materials before the Lunar New Year,” a South Korean trader, who sold two parcels of DOP to SEA buyers this week, said. RATIONALE: CFR China dioctyl phthalate was assessed up $10/mt week on week at $1,050/mt Friday, based on a trade concluded at $1,050/mt CFR China. The CFR Southeast Asia marker was assessed down $15/mt week on week at $1,210/mt, reflecting two deals done in the range of $1,200-$1,215/mt CFR SEA. Phthalic anhydride was assessed unchanged week on week at $900/mt CFR China, as price discussions were heard at $900/mt CFR China. The SEA marker was up $10/mt on week at $965/mt CFR SEA, based on eight trades concluded at a range of$960-$980/mt CFR SEA. CFR China 2-EH marker was assessed unchanged on the week at $1,035/mt CFR China this week, as price discussion were heard at around $1,035/mt CFR China. The SEA marker was assessed unchanged week on week at $1,075/mt CFR SEA on muted trading. The China and SEA marker for normal butanol was assessed unchanged on week at $910/mt CFR China and$910/mt CFR SEA, respectively, due to a muted market.