Styrene prices showed mixed trend on the week

Styrene prices showed a mixed trend of Rs ±2/kg week on week to Rs 83-85/kg at major ports of India.
Demand of the material noticed moderate, prices expected stable to ±1/kg in coming days.

International Market Updates:

Asian styrene monomer fell $6/mt on the day to $1,003/mt CFR China and $953/mt FOB Korea Thursday despite the rise in upstream crude and benzene. Discussions were thin in the afternoon, and prices were initially higher on the day before shedding the gains late afternoon. In the east China domestic market, the prompt marker fell Yuan 80/mt on the day to Yuan 8,120/mt ex-tank Thursday. Sentiment is bearish in the Chinese market on the growing pressure from ample prompt cargoes, and the significant quantity of deepsea cargoes arriving in China next week. “The market is facing great pressure from the amount of spot SM available now,” said a market participant. According to sources, while the market appears to be less bearish at the start of the year amid stronger demand in the downstream markets, there are concerns around the sustainability of the rise in prices. “Downstream demand has definitely improved from late last year. However, most of this is likely restocking prior to the Chinese New Year,” said a market source. “So, it’s unclear how demand will be in late February to March. In addition, trade talks in March would highly likely have an effect on SM prices,” the source added. In the related feedstock markets, ethylene was assessed stable at $870/mt CFR Northeast Asia amid limited fixed price discussions, while benzene CFR China rose $5/mt on the day to $581/mt Thursday.

Toluene market on positive trend in Indian markets

Toluene trading prices noticed between Rs 49.5-51/kg week on week in the Indian market expected stable to bit up in coming days.
“Importers can remain the market at Rs 50-52/kg in coming days to get good positive margin as International market of toluene recovering.”-source.

International Market Updates:

Asian toluene rose $2/mt on the day to close at $567/mt FOB Korea and $604/mt CFR China Thursday on the back of a bid heard at $565/mt FOB Korea for any February loading cargo during the Platts Market on Close assessment process Thursday. On Thursday, thin liquidity was heard throughout the Asian market despite the recent day on day spike in prices, caused in part by the constantly surging domestic Chinese price. “The market is very long bar China,” a trader based in Southeast Asia said Thursday. “Everywhere you see excess supplies,” he added. In China, domestic East China discussions ended market bullishness observed since the turn of the new year at mid-day Thursday. The domestic prompt ex-tank was discussed at approximately Yuan5,280/mt on Thursday morning, but nosedived to close at Yuan 5,130/mt towards the end of the day. “I am guessing there are many in China who feel right now that the recent spike in crude is short-lived and will not carry on forever,” a China-based trader said Thursday. “Crude is rising but domestic prices are falling today, don’t you think it is weird,” The trader said Thursday. Moreover, fewer domestic East China deals were heard Thursday compared to the day before with some sources saying that offers outnumbered bids in the East China market on Thursday. The East China domestic ex-tank marker was assessed at Yuan 5,150/mt Thursday, converting to an import parity of $624.51/mt, down some Yuan 50/mt from the day before. Elsewhere, toluene supply was heard to be long in Southeast Asia. “SEA price is far below the FOB now, excess supplies [are] everywhere,” a trader based in SEA said Thursday.

Phenol prices on downtrend in India

Phenol prices went down Rs 3/kg to Rs 92-93/kg week on week at Kandla port on high inventory level and slow demand in the domestic market.
Booking level of phenol went down $30/mt to $1230-1240/mt week on week.
Prices expected more soften in coming days on bearish demand in major trading hubs of India.

International Market Updates:

CFR China phenol was assessed down $145/mt on the week at $1,175/mt Friday, above buy indications heard at below $1,000/mt, and at tradeable indications heard at $1,150-1,175/mt CFR China. End-users hailed the price drop as “overdue”, citing earlier price gains as having happened too quickly, and at too large a magnitude. Producers and end-users alike said Friday that prices of phenol is expected to continue falling moving forward, but market expectations differed on the impact of restocking activity for the Lunar New Year. A producer said Friday that CFR China prices would likely rebound closer to the festive season, while end-users said that prices would may stabilize below $1,000/mt CFR China. Despite the plunge in phenol, falls in feedstock benzene since October have left prices at a two-year low earlier this week. Market sources said that the price spread between benzene and phenol were still too high, and with benzene market long, it was likely that phenol prices would fall. Weakness in the downstream bisphenol-A has resulted in lower operating rates at BPA production plants, thereby affecting demand for phenol. Bisphenol-A is an intermediate material in the production of polycarbonate, which was heard at levels of $1,800-1,900/mt CFR China. “The price spread between polycarbonate and phenol is just $600-700/mt,” an end-user said Friday, adding that the narrow price spreads made it difficult for production plants to breakeven. CFR India phenol was assessed down $100/mt on the week at $1,240/mt, where a deal was heard concluded.

Stabilizing Benzene Prices bringing Relief to Suppliers

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Benzene prices noticed stable to higher in the last couple of days which makes the market more stable and other chemicals prices also expected stable to the uptrend in coming days.

Benzene prices assessed around $710/mt CFR India.

Downstream aromatics prices noticed stable in Indian market on a day to day trading.

Toluene prices noticed at Rs 58000/mt at Ex-Kandla, Mix xylene noticed around 62000/mt Ex-Mumbai and styrene prices traded at Rs 87000/mt on Tuesday.

Asian benzene was assessed stable to higher from Monday despite the fall in upstream crude oil. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $680/mt Tuesday, up$1.67/mt from Monday, while the CFR China marker was assessed flat at$713.50/mt Tuesday.

In the FOB Korea market, strong buying interests were heard for January cargoes while there were more offers heard for H2 December cargoes, however, no deals were heard concluded.

At 4:30 pm Singapore time(0830 GMT), ICE January Brent crude futures were down 48 cents/b (0.709%) from Monday’s settle at $67.21/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract fell 19 cents/b (0.331%) to $57.14/b.

In the East China domestic market, the benzene prices marker was assessed at Yuan 5,863/mt, up Yuan 10/mt from Monday. According to market sources, benzene inventories in China were recorded at 149,000 mt Tuesday, 13,000 mt higher on the week. As compared to the same period last year, inventories increased 3,000 mt.

The SM-benzene spread is flat from Monday at the 17-month low of $344/mt Tuesday, S&P Global CSG data showed. Elsewhere, in the US market, US November DDP spot benzene price was assessed up 4 cents on the day at 213.50 cents/gal DDP, down 34cents on the day, amid increased December activity.

RATIONALE: FOB Korea benzene was assessed up to $1.67/mt from Monday at $680/mt Tuesday. The marker currently takes the average of the third, fourth and fifth half-month laycans, H2 December, H1 January and H2 January.

During the CSG Market on Close assessment process on Tuesday, there were no transparent bids and offers seen.

The H2 December laycan was assessed at $670/mt FOB Korea, below the best offer heard at $671/mt with no bids heard. H1 and H2 January laycans were assessed at $685/mt, above the best bid heard at $684/mt with no offers heard.

The CFR China marker was assessed flat from Monday at $713.50/mt Tuesday, above the buying indication heard at $690/mt. The East China marker was assessed at Yuan 5,863/mt, with its import parity equivalent assessed at $715.65/mt.

Domestic Phenol Prices went down week on week

phenol price updates

Phenol prices showed continues downtrend in the Indian market and down Rs 2/kg from day to day to Rs 120/kg at Ex-Kandla. Phenol prices went on low trend due to poor demand in the domestic market which downward International prices.

“Prices also went down due to piling inventory at major ports of India.”- source.

Current ports prices noticed between Rs 120-121/kg  Booking price assessed between $1420-1425/mt CFR India down $10/mt.

Indian major producers have declined their prices as follows:

  • HOC – Rs 126/kg down by Rs 3/kg as on 15/11/2018
  • Deepak Phenolics- Rs 124/kg down Rs 8/kg as on 30th Oct’18
  • Herdilia- Rs 130/kg down Rs 10/kg as on 29th Oct’18.

International updates:

Sentiment in the phenol market turned bearish in the week to Thursday as feedstock benzene and propylene prices were weakening. Moreover, downstream markets such as polycarbonate and bisphenol-A also saw lukewarm buying interest, “BPA is about $1,300/mt now and if you subtract $300/mt for production costs, phenol prices should be around $1,000/mt CFR Northeast Asia,” a market source said.

CFR China phenol was assessed lower by $50/mt week on week at $1,400/mt, reflecting tradable indications heard at this level. Meanwhile, CFR Southeast Asia prices fell $20/mt to $1,350/mt, amid price declines heard in the other market. In India, tradable indications were heard at $1,500/mt CFR India, though buying interest was thin at this price. The CFR India market was assessed lower by $10/mt at $1,420/mt, in line with general price declines in the adjacent markets.

Toluene Prices Showed Downtrend in the Indian Market

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Toluene prices in India showed downtrend due to slow demand in the domestic market. Current toluene prices in the Indian market noticed around Rs 58/kg down by Rs 7/kg in last two weeks.

RIL  declined its manufactured toluene price by Rs 8.45/kg to Rs 57/kg.

Asia toluene was assessed up on the back of crude rise and in line with higher domestic price levels in China. Domestic toluene cargoes in China were heard sold at Yuan 6,150/mt, up Yuan 50/mt from Thursday, but down almost CNY 600/mt on week.

This was equivalent to $723.56/ mt on an import parity basis, sources said, after deducting CNY 100/mt for tank charges. ICE January Brent crude oil futures rose $1.10/b day on day but fell $3.93/bbl on the week to $67.69/b at 0830 GMT in Asian trade Friday.

Inventories were heard stable in China week on week, at 20,000 mt in the east and 6,000 mt in the south. However, buying interest was thin as market participants were largely adopting a wait-and-see approach.

Although upstream naphtha and crude oil futures regained some lost ground on Friday, it failed to bolster demand or sentiment in the weekly toluene market on the back of high inventories. Both producers and traders concurred they were unable to sell, as buyers held back purchases expecting prices to fall.

Rationale

The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $650.50/mt FOB Korea, up $1.50/mt day on day. The marker takes the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H2 December and H1 January.

During the CSG Market on the Close assessment process, no bids, offers or deals were seen. Earlier, a January bid was heard at $650/ mt FOB Korea, January was assessed at $651/mt FOB Korea while H2 December was assessed at $650/mt FOB Korea, changing the H2 December/January market structure from a backwardation to a contango.

The CFR China markers were assessed at $690.50/mt, up $1.50/mt in line with price gains in the domestic market.

 

Acetic acid prices showed mixed trend this week

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Acetic acid went down in the Indian market at the beginning of this week and traded between Rs 49-50/kg on Tuesday but on Saturday market recovered and quotation of the material up by the suppliers between Rs 50.5-51/kg.

“Acetic acid prices dropped on higher suppliers’ inventories. Supply is ample with slow downstream demand amid falls in feedstock methanol prices and the weak macroeconomic situation”- the source said.

Indian manufacturer of AA GNFC also reduced their prices on import parity by Rs 2.54/kg to Rs 52.25/kg as on 14/11/2018.

Current booking level assessed between $620-630/mt CFR India down $10-20/mt from previous assessments.
Demand in the Asian acetic acid market was flat in the week to Thursday as high methanol prices and flat demand in the downstream purified terephthalic acid market weighed on buying interest.

“AA supply could tighten next year as the market moves to the traditional turnaround period every two years but this year, supply is mostly balanced to short,” a market source said on the sidelines of the IMPCA conference held in Singapore over November 7-8.

Meanwhile, in the Asian vinyl acetate monomer market, downstream ethylene-vinyl acetate for the solar panel industry was weakening and that dampened buying interest for VAM after the Chinese government imposed some restrictions, a market source said. But this could not be confirmed.

Moreover, upstream ethylene prices were softening and VAM buyers expected further cuts in VAM prices in the coming weeks. The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene price was stable week on week at $920/mt Thursday, though prices have fallen sharply in the past few weeks.

Aromatics Naphtha | Daily Report | 23rd August 2018

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The Asian naphtha complex failed to receive much support Wednesday amid the excess surplus in the region, and subdued demand in the North. Apart from the tepid demand on paraffinic naphtha front, the requirement for heavy full range naphtha slowed substantially, contributing to the pullback on any support to the fundamentals, a market source said.

Competitive prices of regional condensates and light crude oil had drawn away splitter users’ earlier attraction to heavy full range naphtha. Such weakness was reflected in the paper market, as the September/October Mean Of Platts Japan naphtha swap time spread fell 25 cents/mt to plus $2/mt Monday.

The front-month time spread touched the same low on February 9. At 0300 GMT Wednesday, the spread was pegged at the same level at plus $2/mt. Looking West, arbitrage opportunities to send barrels to the East appeared grim as Asian naphtha cash differentials had weakened.

While the September-arrival naphtha arbitrage volume could not be discerned. Market sources said the combined volume in August and September would determine whether the Asian naphtha complex could reverse the oversupply situation.

“East [is trying] to shut the arb gate. Until East could digest the supply overhang, [bearish] sentiments will still prevail,” a naphtha trader said.

Separately, state-owned Indian Oil Corp. is offering 35,000 mt of naphtha, ex-Chennai, for loading over September 17-19, market sources said. The tender was heard to be expiring August 23, with next-day validity.

Privately-owned Reliance Industries was heard to have sold a 55,000 mt minimum 70% paraffin naphtha clip, to a Japanese buyer, for September 12-13 loading from Sikka, one market source said. The company declined to comment on details of the trade.

Meanwhile, Indonesia imported 171,877 mt of naphtha in June, down 29.75% month on month but up 1.71% year on year, detailed figures from Statistics Indonesia showed last week. For June, Indonesia has also turned its focus back to lower octane gasoline imports– primarily 88 RON grade — from the higher priced 92 RON and 95 RON gasoline grades.

Indonesia has capped monthly 88 RON gasoline imports at below 500,000 mt over last December to April this year but boosted imports in May to 596,878 mt. Indonesia imported 583,096 mt of low octane gasoline in June, while imports of gasoline with an octane number between 90 RON and 97 RON fell sharply from 688,735 mt in May to 581,160 mt.

“Due to the higher crude and gasoline prices, they are more focused on the 88 RON grade,” a market source with knowledge of Pertamina’s recent fuel purchase said.

China announces 25% tariff on US-origin benzene – 10th August – Daily Chemicals Report

phenol price updates

FOB Korea benzene inched lower by $1.33/mt week on week to $874.67/mt Friday, despite a notable increase in inquiries from buyers in China and Taiwan. The bearishness in the market over the week leading up to Friday was largely due to weakness in upstream crude oil, with ICE October Brent crude futures falling $1.49/b week on week to be assessed at $71.74/b at 0830 GMT Friday.

The Downtrend

The downtrend in global benzene prices also dampened sentiment, with October FOB USG paper down 2 cents/gal week on week at 298 cents/gal Thursday, or $891.02/mt. Benzene CIF ARA was assessed lower by $7/mt over the same period to $862/mt Thursday.

With price spreads between the US and EU against Asia at $16.35/mt and minus $12.67/mt respectively, the arbitrage from Asia to these regions was closed Friday. Despite weak spot demand from US and EU, demand from China was heard strong this week, with trades for September-arrival benzene heard last concluded at $885/mt CFR China.

Weakening Chinese Yuan

Sellers in the market noted that Chinese end-users were keen to receive September cargoes earlier in the month, in a move contrary to the situation in first-half 2018. The pickup in demand from China was a welcome move, as end-users were earlier heard mulling a weakening Chinese yuan currency, amid ongoing exchange
rate volatility as the US-China trade war continues.

The yuan/US dollar exchange rate stood at 6.8395 Friday, up slightly from 6.8322 last Friday. Strength in East China’s domestic prices resulted in a narrowing price spread between domestic cargoes and import cargoes. Prompt cargoes were assessed higher by Yuan 140/mt week on the at Yuan 7,130/mt Friday, or $881.06/mt on an import parity basis, while balance-August cargoes were higher by Yuan 120/mt over the same period at Yuan 7,160/mt ($884.77/mt).

September domestic cargoes rose Yuan 120/mt week on week to Yuan 7,190/mt ($888.48/mt). Import cargoes on a CFR China basis were assessed higher by $9/mt week on week at $892/mt Friday. Over in the Southeast Asia market, a FOB Southeast Asia tender for any September-loading was heard to have been awarded at a discount of $16-$19/mt to the benchmark FOB Korea marker.

China announces 25% tariff on US-origin benzene

However, with demand from China improving, sellers in the Southeast Asian region were heard expecting sell tenders to be awarded at a smaller discount to FOB Korea moving forward. Amid an escalation of the US-China trade war, a notice by China’s Ministry of Commerce released late Wednesday announced a 25% tariff, effective August 23, on US-origin benzene heading toward China.

Included in the list was phenol and acetone, downstream products of benzene. However, the tariff was expected to have little effect on the supply of benzene to China, as the country imports little from the US. In 2017, China imported just 24,411 mt of benzene from the US, which accounted for 0.98% of total imports in 2017.

ACN Pricing Assessments and Ineos price Revision

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The arbitrage to send ACN pricing butadiene styrene to European countries from Asia is starting amid falling prices in the latter region, according to data. The ABS FD NWE price was assessed at Eur2,020/mt ($2,183/mt) Wednesday, as the ABS CFR China price was assessed at $1,790/mt.

Acquiring $100/mt to cover freight and additional administrative costs, the import arbitrage windows are wide open. The window has been widening in March as Asia spot prices continued to decline. The CFR China cost offers declined $210/mt from the other day of February.

On the other hand, the FD NWE cost increased Eur120/mt through the same period. November The last time the arbitrage windows was open up was early. Indeed, Eurostat data displays imports in December and January fell 21%.

Strong feedstock costs — mainly butadiene and styrene — directed Asia ABS spot prices soaring between November and February. The ABS CFR China spot price has fallen in March, however, the European spot price resisted the declines amid tight fundamentals.

European demand was great, with 1 seller reporting complete order books. Furthermore, a source has said that Ineos Styrolution had decreased output in March because of minor functions at its Antwerp unit which meant incremental place volume was scarce.

European ABS sellers have faced competition from Southern Korean sellers because they benefit from a free of charge trade agreement between your EU and Southern Korea.

EU imports rose 18% in 2016 consequently of higher deliveries from Southern Korea. While import offers weren’t heard in the European marketplace this week, the open arbitrage might tempt European purchasers to secure product within the next few weeks.

Ineos Nitriles offers lifted its declaration of pressure majeure on European way to obtain ACN pricing after restarting creation from its Seal Sands, Cologne and UK, Germany plants by the end of March, a source near to the company said Tuesday.

“All European vegetation are working and Ineos is now able to supply contractual clients,” the foundation said.
Ineos wasn’t immediately designed for comment on the problem Tuesday. The Seal Sands plant underwent an unplanned shutdown in March pursuing technical issues simultaneously tat maintenance at Cologne was underway.

eeks and affected the whole 280,000 mt/year plant as the maintenance at Cologne was planned to last for 10-12 times on small of the plant’s two lines, accounting for 100,000 mt/year of total CAN pricing and production capacity of 340,000 mt/year.

European ACN pricing was last assessed at $1, Tuesday 650/mt CIF ARA last.
ACN pricing have increased up to now this year amid source shortages in Europe, and also in Asia and the united states.

European ACN pricing hits a six-year low about cheaper US imports
European ACN pricing spot prices fell $32/mt to $1, Tuesday 168/mt CIF MED, a minimal not seen since June 2009.

European ACN prices have fallen within an almost linear fashion since August 2014, where they peaked at a higher of over 2 yrs at $2,060/mt CIF MED.

Producers and traders have got said cheap export prices from the US have already been the cause. The US ACN pricing dropped $20/mt Tuesday to be assessed at $1,050/mt FOB USG. With freight to European countries pegged at $100/mt, the arbitrage from the united states is open.

Despite this, not an excessive amount of ACN pricing which has been heard set from the united states to Europe.
It was the impact of the cheaper US-origin alternative supply getting raised in negotiations that had pressured prices in European countries, sources said.

Substantially lesser feedstock propylene prices in America have pressured ACN pricing in the united states.
“With the propylene cost difference between your US and European countries, it is impossible for all of us to compete,” the maker source said.

European chemical substance grade propylene was assessed at Eur863/mt ($961/mt) FD NWE Friday.
To review, US CGP was at 27.25 cents/lb ($601/mt) FD USG.

With 1.1 mt of propylene and 0.5 mt of ammonia necessary for the production of each 1 mt of ACN pricing, European feedstock costs alone turn to surpass current place prices in the continent. Main European producers have exited the location market amid this insufficient profitability.

“We cannot use the existing $300/mt [or even more] propylene spread [between European countries and the US]. We’d want that to be near to $100 before we restarted production,” a producer resource said.

Th e impact of the decrease in supply from producers is yet to be observed this month, August being truly a traditional maintenance period among derivative producers, sources said.

“Demand in the location market is sluggish, we are competing for potential customers,” a trade supply said.