– Demand firm in China, spot supplies limited
– Additional ethylene supplies seen available soon
Asian ethylene was stable Friday on quiet trade amid limited offers given the ongoing shutdown of Hanwha Total’s steam cracker in Daesan (polymer news). The steam cracker is now due to be re-started in the middle of May, delayed from the initial early May schedule, due to the ongoing labor strike. As a result, South Korea’s spot ethylene exports dried up as some steam cracker operators were supplying ethylene to the domestic market in a bid to cover the production shortfall. Chinese end-users said they did not receive offers on Friday, adding that they were looking for spot cargoes for styrene monomer production. However, some market sources said such supply tightness in ethylene would be short-lived as new ethylene capacities will be available soon. Market sources said Nanjing Chengzhi Clean Energy will start up its new 600,000 mt/year methanol-to-olefins unit around June, which would increase ethylene supplies in the region. SP Olefins is also due to start up its new 650,000 mt/year polymer news steam cracker in Taixin around August or September, S&P Global reported previously.
Spot prices were assessed unchanged day on day at $960/mt (polymer news) CFR Northeast Asia and $900/mt CFR Southeast Asia Friday. A tradeable level was heard in the mid-$900s/mt CFR NE Asia, while no fresh bids and offers were heard on a CFR SE Asian polymer news basis Friday.