Asian monoethylene glycol prices held steady day on day amid scarce discussion Friday, with China market closed for Labor Day holidays. MEG inventories at the main ports in east China hit a record high 1.42 million mt in April, with market sources this week expecting volumes to remain equally high in May and even higher in June. Chinese MEG production rates are estimated at around 72% in May and 78% in June, based on S&P Global data and market sources, which means that China domestic MEG production is expected to be around 650,000 mt and 700,000 mt in May and June respectively. In plant news, Indorama Ventures is ramping up its 550,000 mt/year ethylene oxide/ MEG plant in Clear Lake, Texas after a month-long turnaround, a company spokesman said in an email Friday. “It has started, but it will take time to reach full utilization,” spokesman Richard Jones said, adding that the facility was at “about 70% now.” The company shut the plant in late March for up to six weeks of planned work, just a week after restarting the facility upon completion of a prior lengthy turnaround. A compressor problem prompted the second shutdown. In upstream, ICE Brent crude June futures tumbled to $70.19/b at 4:30pm Singapore time (GMT 0830) Friday, down $4.02/b week on week, S&P Global data shown.
CFR China MEG price was assessed flat day on day at $582/mt on Friday for 15-30 days forward cargoes, amid scarce discussion during the holiday. China prompt domestic price was assessed flat at Yuan 4,570/mt over the same period amid holiday in China. CFR Southeast Asia MEG was assessed up $12/mt week on week at $587/mt on Friday for 15-30 days forward cargoes amid thin trade discussion, reflecting the spread of $5/mt higher than CFR China marker.