TDI Chemical Price in India

NWE MTBE/ETBE Chemical Industry – MTBE jumps $16.50/mt on strong buying interest

Chemical Industry

– Factor increases to 1.144

– EBOB crack vs Brent at 7-month high

European MTBE Chemical Industry  rose to $794/mt FOB ARA Friday from $777.50/mt Friday on strong buying interest. The MTBE factor to Eurobob gasoline was also assessed higher at 1.144 than Friday’s 1.119. MTBE’s premium to the front-month EBOB swap was at $113/mt on Friday, up from $96.50/mt on Friday. Upstream crude moved slightly lower with the ICE Brent front-month at Friday 16:30 London time close down 15 cents on the day at $71.22/b (Chemical Industry). Eurobob gasoline barges spot prices were also assessed $1 lower at $694/mt FOB AR. On Friday the physical FOB ARA Eurobob barge crack versus Dated Brent was assessed at a seven-month high of $11.87/b, up from $10.39/b Friday. Furthermore, Eurobob cracks also reached an eight-month high versus ultra-low sulfur diesel on the same time and European refiners eying a switch to maximize gasoline. In Asia, MTBE was up $15 day on day at $774/mt on Friday, supported by higher gasoline and naphtha Chemical Industry. The Asian MTBE factor was assessed at 1.141 Friday.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global Friday assessed European MTBE Chemical Industry at $794/mt FOB ARA on Friday, up $16.50 on the day, in line with a trade. Litasco traded on Lyondell’s 1,000 mt re-bid at $794/mt, after first trading at $792/mt loading mid-window during the Friday Chemical Industry on Close assessment process. The trade disproved the MTBE factor from the day before. ETBE was assessed at an $150/mt premium to MTBE Friday, stable from Friday, with no disproving indications heard.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Premiums for European toluene dropped $6/mt on Wednesday,

chemical industry

– Premiums slip $6/mt

– Arbitrage to US remains closed

Premiums for European toluene dropped $6/mt on Wednesday, taking both April and May assessments down to $124/mt above Eurobob gasoline. A broad range of indications was heard from the market, with multiple sources pegging value between $105-$125/mt. On an outright basis, a distributor pegged value at $775/mt while a trader put the CIF ARA value at $765/mt for TDI grade toluene. Sources continued to point to a lack of demand in Europe for material, and a lack of possible arbitrage into the US Gulf as reasons for the premium to continue downwards. This also pushed against direction in the upstream energy market, where gasoline and crude oil continued to move higher. More supply was also inbound to the flush European market from the Mediterranean, a trader said, with no space for storage. “Material will definitely have to go out of Europe,” he said.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global  assessed the CIF ARA toluene premium over Eurobob gasoline at $124/mt for April on Wednesday, down $6/mt from Wednesday. A trader said there was an offer in the market at $125/mt. This fit with indications in the market heard in a range of $100-$125/mt. The May premium was assessed at $124/mt, flat to April.

 

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European premiums for toluene to gasoline were unchanged on Friday.

Chemical Industry

– April premium at $130/mt

– Blend value pegged $50-$60/mt

European premiums for toluene to gasoline were unchanged on Friday. April was assessed at $130/mt, with May assessed at parity. An offer of $150/mt was heard in the market, which a trader called “ridiculous.” Lower numbers were agreed by sources over the last two days, although there was confusion as to  who would have interest in buying material. Major consumers said their needs were being met by term volumes and that they were not interested in spot material. In Asia, material has been tight with talk of increasing demand from   the gasoline blend pool. This was expected in Europe too, though interest from blenders was pegged at $50-$60/mt by market sources. With supply in Europe lengthening, and no sign of workable exports into the US or Asia, demand at lower premiums from gasoline blenders may contain oversupply before spot petrochemical demand resurfaces.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global Platts assessed the CIF ARA toluene premium over Eurobob gasoline at $130/mt for April on Friday, stable from Wednesday, within the range of $120-$130/mt pegged by a trader. Sources cited talk of a booking at $120/mt on Wednesday, but this was not seen as market value due to prompt terms and larger volume. The May premium was assessed at $130/mt, flat to April.

 

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 Xylenes – MX premiums drop; US arb unworkable.

Chemical Industry

– PX spot begins to settle, April stable

– MX April cargo availability surfacing

European mixed xylene premiums to Eurobob gasoline for April and May fell $7/mt on the day to $123/mt CIF ARA Thursday. Though some demand was seen in the market for April cargoes, bids surfaced lower on Thursday. In part, this came from a lack of export opportunity to the US, one trader said. “No one can take product from Europe [to the US] because they can’t discharge… Terminals are shut,” the trader added. This was following the recent fires at the Intercontinental Terminal Company’s (ITC) petrochemical storage farm in the Houston Ship Channel. Additionally, European material was said to be uncompetitive with Korean material for US buyers. On the whole, availability was improving in Europe, with some cargoes heard for H1 April as well as the H2 April cargoes heard on Thursday. European paraxylene spot prices were more stable Thursday following sharp declines last week. April was unchanged at $937/mt, while May fell $3.25/mt to $931.25/mt FOB ARA. Bearishness from the Asian market was mirrored in Europe, with news earlier in the week that China’s Hengli Refining and Chemical Co should start producing on-specification paraxylene at its 1.5 million mt/year plant by June. European orthoxylene spot prices were stable at $1,000/mt FOB ARA, with no new cargoes heard booked.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global Thursday assessed the M1 April mixed xylene CIF ARA premium to Eurobob gasoline down $7/mt on day to $123/mt Thursday, within a range heard at $120-$140/mt, amid poor demand. The best bid was heard at $741/mt and an offer was heard at a premium to Eurobob gasoline at $140/mt. The M2 May MX CIF ARA premium fell $7/mt to $123/mt, on the same indications. April Northwest European paraxylene was stable at $937/mt FOB ARA, tracking the CFR Taiwan/China H2 May laycan. May fell $3.25/mt to $931.25/mt FOB ARA, tracking the CFR Taiwan/China H1 June laycan. The paraxylene 5-30 day forward spot price was assessed as the average of the period at $937/mt FOB ARA, stable on day. Orthoxylene was assessed stable at $1,000/mt FOB ARA, amid no disproving indications.

 

Asian phenol and acetone prices rose this week, supported by bullish sentiment in China

Asian phenol and acetone prices rose this week, supported by bullish sentiment in China as markets reopened after the Lunar New Year holidays and tight supply in India. Upstream benzene was assessed down $3.67/mt from Friday last week at $596.33/mt Friday, while propylene, another feedstock, was assessed up $10/mt over the same period at $925/mt FOB Korea.

PHENOL: CFR India phenol was assessed up $50/mt from Friday last week at $1,250/mt Friday amid plant issues in the Middle East, which left supply tight in South Asia. India’s domestic phenol market rose to Rupees 111/kg last week before paring back to Rupees 104/kg this week, market sources said. Multiple trades were heard concluded at $1,250/mt CFR India, equating to Rupees 100/kg. Several market participants were expecting sentiment to weaken going forward, saying prices had recently risen too much too fast. On the other hand, keen buyers were still heard in the market, with one buyer saying there were no ready sellers at $1,300/mt CFR India. Nonetheless, March material was still heard available and tradable indications continued to hover at $1,250/mt CFR India. East China domestic discussions supported the price of import material to China, with East China prices heard up Yuan 125/mt from Friday last week at Yuan 8,500/mt Friday, as sentiment was firm after the Lunar New Year holidays. However, the restart of a major phenol producer in China in January contributed to expectations of growing supply, as commercial sales from the plant should begin soon, sources said. Downstream products such as caprolactam and bisphenol-A were heard unable to support further increases in feedstock phenol prices, resulting in thin spot demand.

ACETONE: Despite thin trading in acetone delivered in Asia, market sources said prices had risen $10-$20/mt recently as producers were keen to seize on an open arbitrage between Asia and the US and Europe. Shipping sources said 5,000 mt of acetone was quoted from Yeosu in South Korea to Houston, while 2,000 mt was heard shipped from Singapore to Rotterdam at a rate of $95/mt. FOB Rotterdam acetone prices stood at $570/mt last Friday. This resulted in a pickup in demand for Asian material, and CFR China prices were assessed up $15/mt from Friday last week at $460/mt Friday, while CFR India was assessed up $5/mt over the same period at $505/mt.

Mixed views on impact of high inventories in China.

A lack of clarity continued to shroud the Asian benzene market Friday as dwindling demand continued to widen the spread between March and April. The H1 March/H2 March and H2 March/April spreads had been volatile since laycan declarations for March cargoes concluded Friday. The H1 March/H2 March spread stood at minus $5/mt Friday, from minus $7/mt Friday. H2 March/April was valued at minus $11/mt Friday, from minus $7.50/mt Friday. A trader noted that the Asian benzene market had been in a persistent contango for “quite some time,” as the market is structurally long while producers seek outlets beyond Asia in the US and Europe. Buying from China, the key demand center within Asia, had come to a standstill Friday, amid high inventories and a volatile yuan currency relative to the US dollar. Market sources said that East China inventory levels, defined as the sum of benzene, toluene, xylene, styrene and monoethylene glycol stocks, had hit an all-time high of more than 3 million mt. As a result, traders were heard not keen to import cargoes. Furthermore, several traders were heard turning away from the CFR China market to the FOB Korea market to sell April cargoes. A trader likened growing East China inventory to a “bubble,” with prices bound to fall quickly should bearish fundamentals arise. On the other hand, another source said that it was unlikely to occur in the benzene market, with benzene prices “still quite low,” while CFR China prices were more than sufficient to account for freight between South Korea and East China. CFR China was assessed at $611/mt Friday, $15/mt above the FOB Korea benchmark, which stood at $596/mt.

RATIONALE:

FOB Korea benzene was assessed higher by $3.83/mt on the day at $596/mt Friday. The marker takes the average of the third, fourth and fifth half-month laycans, currently H1 March, H2 March and H1 April. During the CSG Market on Close assessment process, there were no transparent bids and offers seen. The H1 March laycan was assessed at $589/mt FOB Korea, above a bid last seen at $588/mt FOB Korea. The H2 March laycan was assessed at $594/mt FOB Korea, below an offer last seen at $595/mt FOB Korea, and above a bid at $590/mt. The H1 April laycan was assessed at $605/mt FOB Korea, above a bid last seen at $604/mt. The CFR China marker was assessed higher by $3/mt day on day at $611/mt, above buy indications heard for March and April at $610/mt CFR China. The East China marker was assessed at Yuan 4,873/mt Friday, up Yuan 3/mt day on day, or $607.99/mt on an import parity basis.

Falls $12/mt on bids and offers

Asian toluene prices tumbled $12/mt over the weekend to settle at $595/mt FOB Korea and $629/mt CFR China on Tuesday amid bids and offers heard during the CSG Market on Close assessment process, though no transparent bids or offers were observed. During the CSG MOC Tuesday, a 2,000 mt bid for any March was heard at $615/mt CFR China, which was eventually brought up to $619/mt at the close. On offers, an offer for a 2,000 mt any March delivery was heard at $640/mt CFR China which was brought down to $632/mt CFR China and left standing at the close. During the CSG MOC, a bid was also heard at $625/mt CFR China for 2,000 mt, H2 February to any March delivery but CSG could not verify the buyer despite attempts to. Similarly, an offer at $610/mt FOB Korea for 2,000 mt, H1 March laycan was also heard during the MOC but the seller chose to remain unverified by CSG. Meanwhile, the Chinese market showed some activity although not all market participants were back from the Chinese New Year holidays, sources said. The East China prompt, ex-tank prices was heard discussed at around Yuan 5,000/mt to Yuan 5,100/mt in the morning, and fell slightly to Yuan 5,000/mt to Yuan 5,060/mt towards the end of the day. For those who have returned to the market, many were sidelined. “The first day after holiday, so many things need to talk, moreover the factories are mostly starting in a few days time”, a Chinese trader said Tuesday. “We have not started work yet” another toluene end-user from China said Tuesday. Meanwhile, other toluene end-users in the paint industries in East China were also heard to have accumulated enough cargoes before the Chinese New Year and are not looking to buy. “They told me they are in no rush to buy MX and toluene, with their current inventories enough to last for about a month”, a Chinese toluene trader said Tuesday.

RATIONALE:

The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $595/mt FOB Korea Tuesday, down $12/mt from Tuesday largely tracking the CFR China marker. The marker takes the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H1 and H2 March. The CFR China marker was assessed at $629/mt, between the best bid heard at $619/mt CFR China, and best offer heard at $632/mt CFR China, both for 2,000 mt any March laycan, but no transparent bids or offers were seen during the MOC process Tuesday. The H1 March and H2 March laycans were assessed at $629/mt CFR China Tuesday, maintaining a flat market structure from Tuesday.

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

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.