Trading remains scant
Japan March propylene imports slump 82.1% on month
The CFR China propylene marker remained stable in the absence of Chinese buyers, with no indicative bids or offers heard. Some market participants were not optimistic about the price direction for propylene, as some downstream polypropylene producers in China were shutting down plants for turnaround. China Flexible Packaging Group plans to shut down two polypropylene plants, with a capacity of 500,000 mt/year each in Jiangyin, Fujian province by May 6, S&P Global reported earlier The company buys 60,000 mt of imported propylene and 20,000 mt of domestic materials each month as feedstock for its PP plants. It will buy less than 30,000 mt propylene for May due to the turnaround. Meanwhile, Japan’s March propylene exports jumped 29.8% to 94,592 mt month on month, while propylene imports slumped 82.1% on month to 1,503 mt. A trader said the Japanese downstream polypropylene plants were not operating at a high rate in March, and so they were exporting their propylene feedstock. “Demand for polypropylene is not enough to support the propylene market in Japan in March,” the Japanese trader said.
CFR China propylene prices remained stable on day to be assessed at $890/mt Friday with a tradable level heard in the range of $890-$900/ mt. FOB Korea propylene prices remained unchanged on day, as price discussions were heard to be around $850-$860/mt Friday. In other areas which are assessed on a weekly basis, CFR Taiwan propylene prices remained unchanged to be assessed at $895/mt Friday, with a discussion heard at $870-$900/mt CFR Taiwan. CFR Southeast Asia prices remained unchanged $805/mt during the same period, while the FOB Japan price remained unchanged on week at $850/mt on a week-on-week basis due to muted trading.