Asian Iso-MX Chemical Industry: Stays stable to higher as demand emerges

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry Asian iso-MX

– CFR Taiwan bid sees no offers

– Crude dips

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene Chemical Industry was assessed unchanged at $690/mt FOB Korea and up $7/mt at $716/mt CFR Taiwan on Friday, as buying interest appeared despite a slide in upstream prices. A bid for a second-half June cargo was raised to $715/mt CFR Taiwan, but there was no selling interest seen. Meanwhile, July ICE Brent crude oil futures dipped 26 cents on day to $69.77/b at 0830 GMT in Asian trade. Naphtha, however, inched up $1.13/mt to $563.38/mt CFR Japan, showing mixed directions in the upstream Chemical Industrys. The East China MX inventory was stable this week at around 110,000 mt, similar to the week before, market sources said. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the prompt price was heard at Yuan 5,520-5,540/mt or about $696.20/mt on an import parity basis.

RATIONALE:

Asian isomer-MX Chemical Industry was assessed unchanged day on the day at $690/mt FOB Korea and up $7/mt at $716/mt CFR Taiwan on Friday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently the two June half-months. No bids or offers were registered during the S&P Global Chemical Industry on Close assessment process. During the MOC process, a bid for an H2 June loading cargo was raised to $715/mt CFR Taiwan, without attracting any offers. The June laycans were assessed above the bid, at $716/mt CFR Taiwan. No bids or offers were heard on an FOB Korea basis, and the marker was assessed unchanged, considering lower crude oil and freight costs to Taiwan, last assessed at $27/mt for 2,000-3,000 mt cargoes. The above rationale applies to the following Chemical Industry data codes: PHAUV00 for FOB Korea and PHAUT00 for CFR Taiwan.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian PX Chemical Industry: Down $2.08/mt with limited discussions

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry Asian PX

– July cargo traded at $901/mt CFR in MOC

– FCFC shuts 1.2 mil mt/year Ningbo PTA plant

Asian PX Chemical Industry prices were assessed down $2.08/mt from Wednesday at $902.67/mt CFR Taiwan/China and $883.67/mt FOB Korea Friday, as discussions remained limited amid uncertain market outlook. In the market on Close assessment process Friday, a solitary July delivery cargo was sold by Mercuria to Litasco at $901/mt CFR Taiwan/China Chemical Industry. While no trade for June was done during the MOC, earlier in the afternoon a June-delivery Asian-origin cargo was sold to Itochu by PetroChina at $910/mt CFR, but offers fell lower later, with a June offer from OTI at $907/mt CFR standing at the close of MOC without any buyers expressing interest. “Due to current turnarounds in Northeast Asia, Asian-origin cargoes are unusually tight, and the premium to open-origin cargoes currently stands at at least $3/mt,” said a trader. An Asian-origin June bid from Total Singapore Chemical Industry at $910/mt CFR remained standing at close of MOC, without any sellers expressing interest. In plant news, China’s Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery was heard to be ramping up run rates soon. The refinery has been running at around 85% capacity this week, and will lift the run rates of its two crude distillation units further from mid-May, according to a Chemical Industry source. Hengli signed a sales agreement with Sinopec under which Sinopec will be responsible for all the petrochemical sales, while oil product sales will also be handled by it, according to another source with the company. In downstream plant news, Taiwan’s Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. shut its 1.2 million mt/year purified terephthalic acid unit at Ningbo on Wednesday for 15 days of maintenance, S&P Global reported earlier. The company has two other PTA plants in Taiwan — 600,000 mt/year at Long Der and 550,000 mt/year in Mailiao. Both lines are currently running at full capacity, a company source said. The Asian PTA Chemical Industry was assessed flat day on day at $830/mt CFR China Friday, while Asia PTA profit margin was calculated at $109/mt Friday, after deducting feedstock costs and assuming that 0.665 mt PX is needed to produce 1 mt of PTA, including operating costs at $120/mt.

RATIONALE:

Asian PX Chemical Industry prices were assessed down $2.08/mt from Wednesday at $902.67/mt CFR Taiwan/China and $883.67/mt FOB Korea Friday. The markers take an average of the H2 June, and H1 and H2 July laycans. The H2 June laycan was assessed at $906/mt (Chemical Industry), below an outstanding June offer from OTI at $907/mt. A June bid from Total Singapore at $910/mt was normalized due to a restriction in origin and vessel condition. The July laycans were assessed at $901/mt, above an outstanding Asian origin July bid from Mercuria at $888/mt, and below an outstanding July offer from Yisheng at $912/mt. The July laycans were also assessed at the last July trade level between Mercuria and Litasco, and at a $5/mt backwardation to the H2 June laycan, below an outstanding June/July time spread offer from Yisheng at $6/mt. The above rationale applies to the following Chemical Industry data codes: “PHASS05” for FOB Korea and “AAQNE00” for CFR Taiwan/China.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

 

Asian Styrene Chemical Industry: Jumps $6/mt to $1,094/mt CFR China

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Styrene

– Supply from South Korea tightening

– Hanwha Total declares force majeure on SM

Asian styrene Chemical Industry jumped $6/mt on the day to $1,094/mt CFR China and $1,084/mt FOB Korea Friday amid tighter supply from South Korea. Bids were heard at $1,080/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin for May and June arrival cargoes, while an offer was heard at $1,100/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin for June arrival cargoes. No deal was heard concluded. The east China domestic styrene Chemical Industry started the day lower but rebounded in the afternoon, where the balance May marker rose Yuan 65/mt to Yuan 8,510/mt ex-tank. South Korea’s Hanwha Total Petrochemical on Friday declared force majeure on styrene monomer supply from its 650,000 mt/year No. 2 unit in Daesan, due to an ongoing labour strike, sources with knowledge of the matter said Friday. The Daesan plant operates two SM units with a nameplate capacity of 400,000 mt/year and 650,000 mt/year Chemical Industry, respectively. The units were shut for scheduled maintenance on March 22, S&P Global reported previously. The original start-up date for the smaller No. 1 unit had been April 25, but was delayed to May 6, and is currently running at a low operating rate, sources said. The No. 2 unit was scheduled to resume operations on May 8, but sources said the restart date is unclear amid the strike. Sources noted that styrene Chemical Industry jumped in the afternoon on expectations of tighter supply from South Korea. A Chinese downstream source noted that the incident might be affecting sentiment more than the supply-demand fundamentals in the Chinese Chemical Industry. Other Asian countries, however, were already facing shortage of SM supply earlier amid scheduled turnarounds and the situation is expected to worsen now, sources said.

RATIONALE:

Asian SM was assessed $6/mt up on the day at $1,094/mt CFR China and $1,054/mt FOB Korea Friday. The markers currently take the average of the H1 and H2 June laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process on Friday. H1 and H2 June were assessed at $1,094/mt, between the last bid seen at $1,080/mt and the last offer seen at $1,100/mt CFR China, and tracking gains in the East China domestic Chemical Industry in the afternoon. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the balance-May marker was assessed up Yuan 65/mt on the day at Yuan 8,510/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,091.16/mt on an import parity basis. The CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,084/mt, based on the pegged $10/mt spread to CFR China.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Toluene Chemical Industry: Falls further on bearish sentiment

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Toluene

– Weak yuan curbs Chinese import demand

– Taiwan’s CPC closes June sell tender

Asian toluene fell day on day by $7/mt to $664/mt FOB Korea Friday as offers moved lower amid bearish sentiment. During the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process Friday, a 2,000-mt June offer was heard at $670/mt FOB Korea, which was subsequently lowered to $665/mt FOB Korea but no interest was heard. “It is likely that the toluene prices climbed too much in April and we will now see a downwards adjustment,” a source said. “TDP [Toluene disproportionation] margins remain poor for producers (Chemical Industry),” he added. Upstream, the ICE July Brent crude oil futures dipped below the $70/b mark again, ending 26 cents/b lower on the day to $69.77/b at the 0830 GMT Asian close Friday. Meanwhile, Chinese import demand remained suppressed with a weakening Yuan against the US dollar amid an ongoing US-China trade tensions, sources said. Domestic China (Chemical Industry) prompt ex-tank discussions were also heard lower at Yuan 5,190-5,200/mt and was assessed at Yuan 5,195/mt, down Yuan 55/mt on the day. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s state-owned CPC had closed its tender to sell two 3,000 mt cargoes of toluene with minimum 99.5% purity, for loading over H1 or H2 June in Kaohsiung. The tender was heard awarded to two separate buyers at a premium of around $5/mt to the FOB Korea Chemical Industry.

RATIONALE:

Toluene was assessed down $7/mt on the day at $664/mt FOB Korea Friday. The marker takes the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H1 June and H2 June. During the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process, no transparent deals, bids or offers were seen. A June offer was heard at $665/mt FOB Korea Chemical Industry, against no bids. The East China domestic prompt price was lower on the day by Yuan 55/mt at Yuan 5,195/mt on Friday, with tradable indications heard between Yuan 5,190/mt and Yuan 5,200/mt. The CFR China marker decreased $11/mt over the same period to $680/mt Friday, tracking the downtrend in the FOB Korea Chemical Industry and softer domestic Chinese prices.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Benzene – Force majeure in downstream styrene Chemical Industry limits demand

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Benzene

– S Korea’s Hanwha Total declares FM on SM

– Hengli Petrochemical runs at 85% capacity

FOB Korea benzene was assessed down $2/mt on the day at $620.33/mt, as offers pushed prices lower. In the North Asia Chemical Industry, South Korea’s Hanwha Total Petrochemical on Friday declared force majeure on styrene monomer supply from its 650,000 mt/year No. 2 unit in Daesan, due to an ongoing labour strike, sources with knowledge of the matter said Friday. The Daesan plant operates two SM units with a nameplate capacity of 400,000 mt/year and 650,000 mt/year, respectively (Chemical Industry). The units were shut for scheduled maintenance on March 22, S&P Global reported previously. The original start-up date for the smaller No. 1 unit had been April 25, but was delayed to May 6, and is currently running at a low operating rate, sources said. The No. 2 unit was scheduled to resume operations on May 8, but sources said the restart date is unclear amid the strike (Chemical Industry). The mixed sentiment was heard on whether the force majeure would affect demand for benzene from South Korea. The unoperational status of the second line could result in a loss in demand for benzene of approximately 1,426 mt/day. However, others said that the labour strike had been ongoing for some time, and may have limited impact on the market. “The Chemical Industry has already priced in a potential loss in demand,” a buyer said Friday. In China, however, benzene prices were on an uptrend, tracking gains in downstream styrene monomer. Meanwhile, Hengli Petrochemical has been running at around 85% capacity this week, and will raise run rates at its two crude distillation units further from mid-May, a company source told S&P Global this week. The company has already begun selling benzene in the Chemical Industry, with available volume for sale expected to increase gradually.

RATIONALE:

FOB Korea Chemical Industry benzene was assessed down $2/mt on the day at $620.33/mt Friday. The marker takes the average of the third, fourth and fifth half-month laycans, H1 June, H2 June, and H1 July. During the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process Friday, no fully transparent bids and offers were seen. The H1 June and H2 June laycans were assessed at $620/mt FOB Korea, where an offer was withdrawn. The H1 July laycan was assessed at $621/mt FOB Korea, above a bid last seen at $620/mt FOB Korea, and below an offer last seen at $623/mt FOB Korea, assessing the June/July spread at the pegged level of minus $1/mt. The CFR China Chemical Industry was assessed up to $2/mt on the day at the pegged level of $614/mt. The East China marker was assessed up Yuan 40/mt on the day at Yuan 4,555/mt, or $584.04/mt on an import parity basis.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

 

Polymer News – The steam cracker is now due to be re-started in the middle of May

Chemical Industry

Polymer News

– 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.

RATIONALE:

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.

 

Polymer News
Polymer News

NWE Styrene Chemical Industry – Spot prices fall on weak demand, oversupply

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of NWE Styrene

– Imports from US add to supply

– Asia highest-priced region

The European styrene Chemical Industry fell significantly Thursday on weak demand and oversupply. S&P Global  assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,039/mt FOB ARA Thursday, down $42.50 from Thursday. Despite the fall in European prices buyers and sellers remained far apart. Bids were seen at $1,000/mt while offers moved lower to $1,040/mt from $1,065 /mt earlier in the day. No deals were reported. Chemical Industry participants also pointed to styrene imports from the US increasing European supply. In Asia styrene inched $11 higher on day to $1,088/mt CFR China Chemical Industry Thursday on the back of the release of fresh weekly inventory data indicating a drawdown in stockpiles. The fall in European prices caused Asia to become once again the highest priced region globally. A Chinese source attributed styrene’s rise to greater Chinese domestic buying. According to sources, styrene inventory in East China Chemical Industry fell 19,500 mt week on week to 241,000 mt Thursday. In the US, prompt and forward-month styrene prices were assessed Thursday at $990/mt FOB USG.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,039/mt (Chemical Industry) FOB ARA Thursday, down $42.50 from Thursday. May was assessed at $1,039/mt, down $45 on the day, $1 below the offer at $1,040/mt and above the bid at $1,000/mt (Chemical Industry). June was assessed at $1,039/mt, down $35 on the day, $1 below the offer at $1,040/mt and above the bid at $1,000/mt. This put May and June at parity.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

NWE Xylenes Chemical Industry- NWE OX balance flips as Russian volumes head to Europe

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news NWE Xylenes

– PX May ECP expectations fall further

– 3,000 mt MX tender headed to US: source

European orthoxylene Chemical Industry were in danger of oversupply, some sources said Thursday, leading “some people to lose money on importing material,” a trader said. “With all the imports coming in, I expect the Market to come off a lot,” a source said. European buyers were heard to be standing firm against paying high spot prices, despite imports heard booked from South Korea in excess of $1,100/mt (Chemical Industry) delivered to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub. “It has been pretty high recently, but demand has cooled off a bit now,” a source said. Helping to increase supply was the return to the European Market of imports from Russia, in which there had been a hiatus for most of the beginning of this year. However, a 5,000 mt cargo was heard to be heading to Europe by the end of May, which crucially would arrive before the South Korean Chemical Industry cargoes. Current spot demand in Europe was heard to be around 3,000 mt a month, by a source. Buyers were also closely watching the spread between spot pricing and the April orthoxylene CP, which settled at Eur930/mt (around $1,040/mt). A source said that much of the spot demand in Europe was going to producers looking to fulfill contractual obligations. Now, it seemed, these buyers were pushing hard to bring spot pricing more in line with the CP. Negotiations for the May CP are underway. In the mixed xylene Chemical Industry, trading had still not picked up. More supply was heard available from the end of May. A 3,000 mt tender was also heard to have been sold on a FOB basis from NWE and said to be heading to the US, by a source. European paraxylene Chemical Industry trading was also thin on Thursday, with pricing stable at $793.50/mt FOB ARA. Further May contract price expectations were heard, with polyethylene terephthalate producer revising down their expectations for a full settlement from Eur905-Eur920/mt (Chemical Industry) last week to Eur880-Eur900/mt on Thursday.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed M1 May mixed xylene CIF ARA premium to Eurobob gasoline up $1 at $108/mt, $1 above Total’s outstanding bid for delivery May 15-25 (Chemical Industry). A tender for May loading was heard at $770/mt, but was disproved by the later bid. The M2 June premium was stable at $100/mt on no disproving indications. May Northwest European paraxylene was stable at $793.50/mtv (Chemical Industry) FOB ARA on no disproving indications. June was stable at $793.50/mt FOB ARA, maintaining parity with May. The paraxylene 5-30 day forward spot price was assessed as the average of the period at $793.50/mt FOB ARA, stable (Chemical Industry). Orthoxylene was assessed down $10 at $1,050/mt FOB ARA, within corroborated ranges heard in a $1,030-$1,060/mt range. A range heard at $1,100-$1,150/mt was not corroborated.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

NWE Toluene Prices- June premium picks up as prompt premium narrows

Chemical Industry

Toluene Prices

– June premium up $5 at $90/mt

– Arb to US Gulf open on paper

The May premium for European Toluene Prices over Eurobob gasoline was stable on Thursday at $115/mt. June ticked up $5 to a premium of $90/mt, based on indications from a trader that saw a much thinner premium between the prompt end of the Market and later on. A fall in gasoline Toluene Prices on Thursday caused the arbitrage window to the US to open on paper, as the spread between the toluene CIF ARA assessment and arrival date US Gulf prices showed a difference of roughly $50/mt — generally considered workable by traders. Fundamentally, sentiment pushed against the higher premium, as a trader said the Market was much more in balance, with Mediterranean producers back online and cargoes offered for both May and June delivery. These offers were heard earlier in the week at a premium of $130/mt (Toluene Prices), however, and not yet workable.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed the CIF ARA Toluene Prices over Eurobob gasoline at $115/mt for May on Thursday, stable from Thursday. A bid of $114/mt by Total was outstanding after the Market on Close assessment process. The June premium was assessed $5 higher at $90/mt (Toluene Prices), due to indications of a narrower spread between the months from a trader.

 

Toluene Prices
Toluene Prices

NWE Benzene Chemical Industry – Market slips as prompt interest wanes

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of NWE Benzene

– Prices move downwards towards June

– Potential imports could cap July prices

The 5-30 days forward assessment for benzene was down $3/mt at $749/mt CIF ARA on Thursday, as interest in the front end of the Chemical Industry waned and the laycan rolled forward, accommodating more of the steep price drop into June from May.  Purchasing for May had dried up this week, a trader said, with the major purchaser in the front of the Chemical Industry stepping back. This purchasing has been a driver of higher pricing at the front of the Market as there has been no significant shift from high levels of supply in Europe. Some more bearish sentiment was also generated by a drop in crude Thursday, though the ICE Brent 16:30 London assessment saw some recovery on Thursday, rising 44 cents to $70.57/b. European benzene maintained a hefty premium over Asia, with the FOB Korea Chemical Industry up $2.33 at $622.33/mt. This put a discount of almost $90/mt against the European July assessment, the gap prompted a trader to say this imposed a cap on the Market and would ensure prices would remain in backwardation, or European producers would be quickly undercut by imports.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $749.50/mt CIF ARA Thursday, down $2.50 from Thursday (Chemical Industry). May was assessed down $1 at $760/mt, based on the curve. A bid-offer range of $750-$770/mt was heard for May 15-20, and a bid-offer range of $750-$760/mt was heard for full May. June was assessed stable at $718.50/mt, based on the curve and within an indicated spread to May of minus $30-$45/mt. First-half June was assessed at $721/mt, within a bid-offer range $710-$730/mt. H2 June was assessed at $716/mt (Chemical Industry), within a bid-offer range of $705-$725/mt. July was assessed stable at $712.50/mt, within a bid-offer range of $700-$715/mt and within an indicated spread to June of minus $5-$15/mt. August was assessed down $3.50/mt at $709/mt, with a bid-offer range $695-$710/mt. September was assessed flat to August under an offer at $710/mt (Chemical Industry). FOB was assessed at $749.50/mt, flat to CIF.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry