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.
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.