Asian Methanol Chemical Industry: Indian methanol prices ease on fresh supply

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Methanol

– CFR India slips $10/mt on week

– Buying sentiment muted in China

Fundamentals in the Indian methanol Chemical Industry for the first half of June looked decidedly more bearish compared to three weeks ago. The arrival of fresh cargoes this week and availability of spot cargoes through recent tenders changed the complexion of the Chemical Industry, trade sources said Thursday. Domestic prices over Thursday to Thursday fell to around Rupee 24-24.50/kg compared to Rupee 29/kg a month ago, and cargoes arriving at West Coast India from May 20 onwards were heard offered at Rupee 23.50-24/kg. Shipping fixtures showed an estimated 80,000 mt of methanol is expected to arrive or has arrived at Kandla, Hazira, and Mumbai this week. The cargoes did not include 10,000-30,000 mt which Khark Petrochemical offered in a tender which closed last week, and the 20,000-40,000 mt that Kaveh Methanol Chemical Industry is offering in a tender for second-half of May loading, which closed Thursday. In China, buying sentiment was muted even as methanol futures and domestic prompt spot prices rose. The actively-traded September methanol futures contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange closed Yuan 14/mt higher at Yuan 2,463/mt Thursday (Chemical Industry).

RATIONALE:

CFR China methanol Chemical Industry price rose $1/mt day on day to be assessed at $283/mt Thursday, in line with firmer local prices. Chinese domestic cargoes were assessed at Yuan 2,345/mt Thursday, up Yuan 20/mt day on day amid discussions heard at Yuan 2,340-2,350/mt. CFR Southeast Asia methanol Chemical Industrial price was assessed unchanged at $332/mt Thursday, under an offer at $340/mt CFR. The CFR India Market fell $10/mt week on week to $300/mt CFR, after taking into consideration Chemical Industry feedback that tradable levels for May 28-Jun 17 were around $300/mt CFR.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Iso-MX (Imported Data): Rises $5-$6/mt in stable market

Imported Data

Imported Data of Asian Iso-MX

– CFR demand set to pick up in Q3

– Taiwan, China buyers likely to return

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene prices rose day on the day by $6/mt at $690/mt FOB Korea, and up to $5/mt at $709/mt CFR Taiwan on Thursday. Traders and producers eye improved Imported Data conditions and downstream paraxylene seemed to have found support above $900/mt CFR Taiwan/China. Demand for isomer-MX may improve in the third quarter as spot buying from end-users in Taiwan and China is expected to increase, Imported Data sources said. In China, Sinopec is expected to import around 20,000 mt/month of isomer-MX after its Sinopec Hainan No. 2 PX plant comes into production. Demand may pick up from July-August, Market sources said. Taiwan’s Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. may also return to the spot Market in July-August, sources said, following a hiatus due to the closure of its fire-hit No. 3 aromatics plant in Mailiao, Taiwan, since April 7. Meanwhile, July ICE Brent crude oil futures slipped 94 cents on the day to $70.03/barrel at 0830 GMT in Asian trade (Imported Data).

RATIONALE:

Asian isomer-MX was assessed up $6/mt day on the day at $690/mt FOB Korea and up to $5/mt at $709/mt CFR Taiwan on Thursday (Imported Data). 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 Imported Data on Close assessment process. During the MOC process, a bid for June loading cargo was heard raised to $689/mt FOB Korea, without attracting any offers. The June laycans were assessed above the bid, at $690/mt FOB Korea. No bids or offers were heard on a CFR Taiwan basis, but the Imported Data was assessed up $5/mt tracking the FOB Korea marker, and supported by buying interest heard on a CFR China basis at $700-$705/mt for June arrivals. The above rationale applies to the following Market data codes: PHAUV00 for FOB Korea and PHAUT00 for CFR Taiwan (Imported Data).

 

Imported Data
Imported Data

Asian PX Chemical Industry: Edges $1/mt higher in stable market

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian PX

– June cargo trades twice in MOC at $910/mt, $908/mt

– Isomer-grade MX gains $6/mt

Asian paraxylene prices were assessed up $1/mt from Thursday at $904.75/mt CFR Taiwan/China and $885.75/mt FOB Korea Thursday, supported by buying interest for June delivery cargoes, with two June cargoes traded in the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process, with both cargoes bought by Mitsubishi Corp. at $910/mt CFR Taiwan/China, and $908/mt CFR Taiwan/China, respectively. Chemical Industry participants attributed the pick up in buying interest for June to Japan’s JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy shutting its Kawasaki-based aromatics unit following a mechanical glitch at its absorbent tower. “The duration of the shutdown is unclear, but it will likely last at least two weeks,” a company source said. The limited price movement in CFR Taiwan/China PX prices this week was attributed to a wait-and-see approach, as clearer price direction was expected after the conclusion of US-China trade talks later this week. In the related Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene Chemical Industry, prices rose $6/mt day on day to $690/mt FOB Korea, and up $5/mt at $709/mt CFR Taiwan on Thursday. Traders and producers eyed the improved Chemical Industry conditions and downstream paraxylene seemed to have found support above $900/mt CFR Taiwan/China. Demand for isomer-MX may improve in the third quarter as spot buying from end-users in Taiwan and China is expected to increase, Chemical Industry sources said. In China, Sinopec is expected to import around 20,000 mt/month of isomer-MX after its Sinopec Hainan No. 2 PX plant comes into production, while Taiwan’s Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. may also return to the spot Chemical Industry in July-August, sources said, following a hiatus due to the closure of its fire-hit No. 3 aromatics plant in Mailiao, Taiwan, since April 7.

RATIONALE:

Asian PX Chemical Industry were assessed up $1/mt from Thursday at $904.75/mt CFR Taiwan/China and $885.75/mt FOB Korea Thursday. The markers take an average of the H2 June, and H1 and H2 July laycans. The H2 June laycan was assessed at $906.75/mt, above an outstanding Asian origin June bid from Mercuria at $889/mt, and below an outstanding June offer from OTI at $907/mt (Chemical Industry). The bid was normalized due to a restriction in origin. The July laycans were assessed at $903.75/mt, above an outstanding Asian origin July bid from Mercuria at $885/mt, and below an outstanding July offer from BPSG at $904/mt. The July laycans were also assessed at a $3/mt backwardation to the H2 June laycan, below an outstanding June/July timespread offer from BPSG at $4/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: Rises $11/mt on day, at $1,088/mt CFR China

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Styrene

– Improved buying activity, SM inventory declines

Downstream Chemical Industry inch lower on week

Asian styrene monomer inched $11/mt higher on day to $1,088/mt CFR China and $1,048/mt FOB Korea Thursday on the back of the release of fresh weekly inventory data indicating a draw-down in stockpiles. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker rose Yuan 95/mt on day to Yuan 8,405/mt ex-tank Thursday. The May/June spread in the East China domestic market was seen hovering between a flat to backwardated structure this week. This could be due to the higher supply expected after H2 May, said sources. Asian SM continues to trend higher despite the losses in western crude oil futures and the stable-to-softer feedstock prices. A Chinese source attributed the gains in SM to improved buying activity in the Chinese domestic Chemical Industry. According to sources, styrene inventory in East China declined 19,500 mt week on week to 241,000 mt Thursday. In the downstream Chemical Industry, however, discussions were thin amid bearish sentiment after comments by US President Donald Trump on tariffs against China on Thursday. Asian acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene slid $25/mt from last Thursday to $1,545/mt CFR China and $1,565/mt CFR Southeast Asia, general purpose polystyrene fell $10/mt from last Thursday to $1,265/mt CFR China and $1,285/mt CFR Southeast Asia, while high impact polystyrene was stable to $5/mt lower from Thursday at $1,340/mt CFR China and $1,360/mt CFR Southeast Asia Thursday. The limited Chemical Industry activity in the downstream Chemical Industry was attributed to a wait-and-see approach, as clearer price direction was expected after the conclusion of the US-China trade talks later this week.

RATIONALE:

Asian SM was assessed $11/mt up on day at $1,088/mt CFR China and $1,048/mt FOB Korea Thursday. 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 Thursday. H1 and H2 June were assessed at the pegged level of $1,088/mt. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker was assessed up Yuan 95/mt on day at Yuan 8,405/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,078.79/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,048/mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,078/mt, based on the pegged $10/mt spread to CFR China.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Toluene Chemical Industry: Falls $3/mt in thin trade

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Toluene

– Slump in gasoline crack spread

– Cautious amid uncertainty in trade talks

Asian toluene was assessed lower day on day at $671/mt FOB Korea and $691/mt CFR China on Thursday, a $3/mt fall from Thursday. During the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process Thursday, no transparent bids or offers were submitted, but an unregistered offer was heard at $672/mt FOB Korea for a 2,000-mt June cargo. Toulene Chemical Industry prices were responding to a narrower 92 RON gasoline crack spread to the front-month ICE Brent futures, which fell below $5/b. The crack plunged by $1.47/b from the previous day to be assessed at $4.53/b at the 0830 GMT close of Asian trade on Thursday, S&P Global  data showed. The dip marked the sharpest day-on-day decline since November 8, 2018, when gasoline cracks fell by $2.04/b on the day. “While it seems that toluene is already priced very low, there does not seem to be much potential to rise again [in the short term]. Everyone is waiting to see whether a rebound is possible during June,” a China-based trader said. “There is no clear price direction recently and we can only keep a close eye on the trade tensions between the US and China,” he added. Chemical Industry participants adopted a cautious tone amid uncertainty in trade talks between the US and China scheduled this week, as US President Donald Trump’s administration has reiterated threats to increase tariffs on Chinese goods, while a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He would visit the US later in the week. “I believe that no one is willing to bid in this Chemical Industry environment … most are waiting for the outcome of the trade talks on Thursday,” another market source said. Meanwhile, China’s domestic Chemical Industry was also showing signs of weakness with the domestic price in East China heard falling Yuan 10/mt to around Yuan 5,250/mt.

RATIONALE:

Toluene was assessed at $671/mt FOB Korea and at $691/mt CFR China on Thursday, both down $3/mt on the day. The markers take 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. The FOB Korea marker was assessed below the lowest June offer on Thursday heard at $672/mt FOB Korea. The CFR China marker was assessed lower, tracking the FOB Korea marker, on lower crude oil prices in the absence of bids and offers. The East China domestic prompt price was lower on the day by Yuan 10/mt at Yuan 5,250/mt on Thursday, with tradable indications heard at Yuan 5,250/mt.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Benzene – Chemical Industry flips into backwardation amid firm demand for June

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Benzene

– June/July at backwardation of plus $2/mt

– Limited price movement in China amid trade talks

The Asian benzene Chemical Industry flipped into backwardation Thursday, as persistent demand from Taiwan for June-arrival material supported prices. A second buy tender was seen for June CFR Taiwan benzene on Thursday, after a previous tender for 6,000 mt of benzene delivered in June had closed late April, at a low single-digit premium to the Weekly Mean of  FOB Korea benchmark. Supply tightness in the Taiwan Chemical Industry comes amid concerns that the shutdown of an aromatics unit in North Asia would be extended until August. This put spot demand for June-loading FOB Korea benzene higher than that of July-loading material, resulting in a backwardation between June and July. The June/July spread was assessed at plus $2/mt Thursday, up from minus $3/mt Thursday. However, Chemical Industry sentiment was mixed, with a source commenting that the additional volume required from Taiwan did not justify the flip in structure. Meanwhile, in the domestic East China Chemical Industry, prices were assessed stable to slightly lower on the day, with prompt and balance May domestic benzene assessed unchanged from Thursday at Yuan 4,470/mt and Yuan 4,510/mt, respectively. June material was assessed down Yuan 5/mt over the same period at Yuan 4,565/mt. Likewise, CFR China benzene was assessed unchanged on the day at $612/mt. The limited price movement in China Chemical Industry was attributed to a wait-and-see approach, as clearer price direction was expected after a conclusion to the US-China trade talks later this week.

RATIONALE:

FOB Korea benzene was assessed up $2.33/mt on the day at $622.33/mt Thursday. 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 Thursday, no fully transparent bids and offers were seen. The H1 June and H2 June laycans were assessed at $623/mt FOB Korea, above a bid last seen at $622/mt FOB Korea. The H1 July laycan was assessed at $621/mt FOB Korea, below an offer last seen at $625/mt FOB Korea (Chemical Industry), with the June/July spread assessed at plus $2/mt, above a bid last seen at plus $1/mt FOB Korea. The CFR China marker was assessed unchanged on the day at the pegged level of $612/mt. The East China Chemical Industry was assessed down Yuan 2/mt on the day at Yuan 4,515/mt, or $579.51/mt on an import parity basis.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

NWE Toluene Chemical Industry – Prompt demand continues to push market upwards

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of NWE Toluene

– May, June premiums up $5/mt

– Higher offers heard FOB Med

Premiums moved upwards for the European toluene Chemical Industry on Wednesday as bidding activity for May showed buying interest from the market. The May premium rose $5/mt to $115/mt, as a buyer looked for material in a delivery window of May 15-25. This followed a week of premium increases last week. There was no premium published on Wednesday due to a public holiday in the UK. Sources have described some tightness at the front of the Chemical Industry for toluene, though material was heard to be available from the end of May into June. A trader said that offers were being made from a Mediterranean producer at $130/mt for both May and June, suggesting a different outlook on the Chemical Industry from toluene producers. On the consumption side, a chemical-grade toluene buyer said that they were not seeking material from the spot Chemical Industry and were happy with contractual basis deliveries.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed Chemical Industry the CIF ARA toluene premium over Eurobob gasoline at $115/mt for May on Wednesday, up $5/mt from Wednesday. A bid of $114/mt by Total was outstanding after the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process. The June premium was assessed $5 higher at $85/mt, with FOB Mediterranean offers being heard at $130/mt for both May and June.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Toluene Chemical Industry: Rebounds as domestic China prices strengthen

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry news of Asian Toluene

– Domestic prices rise Yuan 70/mt on day

– CPC issues June sell tender

Asian toluene prices rebounded Wednesday, rising $6/mt day on day to be assessed at $674/mt FOB Korea, tracking a recovery in crude oil prices and China’s domestic Chemical Industry. The ICE July Brent crude oil futures pared some losses while market participants stayed cautious amid renewed US-China trade tensions, ending $1.19/b higher on the day to $70.97/b at the 0830 GMT Asian close Wednesday. During the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process Wednesday, no transparent bids or offers were received, but an unregistered offer was heard at $695/mt CFR China for a 2,000-mt June cargo. Prompt domestic Chinese negotiation levels were heard around Yuan 5,250-5,270/mt levels, and was assessed at Yuan 5,260/mt Wednesday, up Yuan 70/mt on the day. “Buying appetite for toluene in China is generally low at the moment but an upward correction might be due later in June,” a Chemical Industry source said. Elsewhere, Taiwan’s state-owned CPC has issued a tender offering two 3,000 mt cargoes of toluene with minimum 99.5% purity for loading over H1 or H2 June in Kaohsiung. The tender closes May 7. The Chemical Industry last sold at least two toluene cargoes of 3,000 mt each for loading over May from Kaohsiung. Buyer details could not be confirmed.

RATIONALE:

Toluene was assessed at $674/mt FOB Korea and at $694/mt CFR China on Wednesday, up $6/mt and $10/mt respectively on the day. The markers take 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. The CFR China marker was assessed below the lowest June offer on Wednesday heard at $695/mt CFR China. Earlier in the afternoon, a June offer was heard at $675/mt FOB Korea, against no bids. The East China domestic prompt price was higher on the day by Yuan 70/mt at Yuan 5,260/mt on Wednesday, with tradable indications heard between Yuan 5,250-5,270/mt (Chemical Industry).

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

NWE Styrene Imported Data- Spot prices fall amid lack of buy interest

Chemical Industry

Imported Data NWE Styrene

– Benzene trades at $745/mt

– Europe-Asia spread narrows

The European styrene spot price fell Wednesday amid a lack of buying activity. Offers were heard for May, June and July cargoes but buyers were absent from the market (Imported Data). “There are no bids out there,” a trader said. Styrene has turned bearish following the Easter holiday period. “[Prices are] creeping down,” a source said. S&P Global assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,081.50 /mt FOB ARA Wednesday, down $23/mt Imported Data from Wednesday. No assessment was made on Wednesday due to a public holiday in the UK. Upstream, prices picked up through the day on Wednesday for the European benzene market, with activity focused on May — though prompt value made an appearance for June. May trading was heard on Wednesday at $745/mt by Imported Data, with an offer at $760/mt. In Asia, styrene prices rebounded $7/mt on the day to $1,077/mt CFR China. The rise narrowed the spread to Europe to $4.50/mt, suggesting Asia could return to the highest priced region globally. According to Chinese market sources, an increase in styrene supply is expected in the coming months after the completion of scheduled plant maintenances in Asia this month, and shipments in China will return to normal.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,081.50/mt (Imported Data) FOB ARA Wednesday, down $23/mt from the previous assessment. May was assessed at $1,084/mt, down $22/mt on the day, $1 below the outstanding offer at $1,085/mt. June was assessed at $1,074/mt, down $10/mt on the day, $1 below the outstanding offer at $1,075/mt (Imported Data). The backwardation between May and June narrowed to $10/mt on Wednesday.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

Asian Styrene Chemical Industry: Rebounds $7/mt to $1,078/mt CFR China

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry Asian Styrene

– More styrene supply expected

– SM margin falls, rising feedstock costs

Asian styrene monomer Chemical Industry prices rebounded $7/mt on the day to $1,077/mt CFR China and $1,037/mt FOB Korea Wednesday, tracking gains in the feedstocks and benchmark crude oil futures. The July ICE Brent crude oil futures increased $1.19/b on the day to $70.97/b Wednesday at 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT). Bids were heard at $1,060-$1,070/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin for May arrival cargoes and $1,065-$1,070/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin for June arrival cargoes, but it did not attract any selling interest. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker rose Yuan 80/mt on the day to Yuan 8,310/mt ex-tank Wednesday. According to Chinese market sources, an increase in styrene supply is expected in the coming months after the completion of scheduled plant maintenances in Asia this month, and shipments in China will return to normal. A Chemical Industry source noted that more shipments are expected to arrive in the first half of May. “However, it might be too early to say if supply would be back to normal, there’s still some wait-and-see mentality,” a Chinese trader said. According to S&P Global data, styrene production margin fell $9.20/mt week-on-week to $144/mt on the back of rising feedstock costs. In the feedstock Chemical Industry, ethylene continued to strengthen Wednesday to $960/mt CFR Northeast Asia, up $10/mt day on day, driven by firm demand from the styrene monomer sector. Benzene rebounded $11/mt on the day to $620/mt FOB Korea Wednesday amid persistent demand from Taiwan for June-arrival material, as a second buy tender was seen from the country for June CFR Taiwan benzene (Chemical Industry).

RATIONALE:

Asian SM was assessed $7/mt up on the day at $1,077/mt CFR China and $1,037/mt FOB Korea Wednesday. 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 Wednesday. H1 and H2 June were assessed at $1,077/mt, above a bid last seen at $1,070/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin, and tracking the gains in East China domestic market in the afternoon. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker was assessed up Yuan 80/mt on the day at Yuan 8,310/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,066.32/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,037/mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,067/mt, based on the pegged $10/mt spread to CFR China Chemical Industry.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry