Thin discussions in China, S Korea, Taiwan
Ample Middle East cargoes in SEA in H2 May
The Chinese methanol Chemical Industry ended the week on a muted note. Offers ranged from $280/mt to $305/mt CFR for May-arrival but buying interest was tepid. Traders rued that bids were few and buying sentiment weak. In Taiwan, fundamentals were stable to a little bearish, with end-users ensconced in sufficient inventory. “In March, most Chemical Industry participants expected April demand to be better, but formaldehyde demand is bad because the plywood industry, which is related to construction and real estate, is not so good in Taiwan,” a trade source said. He added that their term supplier had pushed them to lift more term cargoes, but he declined as he had more than enough stock. In South Korea, domestic Chemical Industry was stable and discussions for imported cargoes were thin. In Southeast Asia, trade sources said the market was a little firm in the first half of May, but a number of Middle Eastern cargoes were arriving in the region from May 15 and cargoes were being offered at $330/mt CFR for Southeast Asian main ports.
Methanol was assessed at $298/mt CFR China Friday for cargoes delivered 20-50 days forward, unchanged day on day, amid stable Chemical Industry fundamentals. Domestic east China prices edged up Yuan 5/ mt to Yuan 2,455/mt Friday and were up Yuan 15/mt week on week, amid discussions at Yuan 2,450-2,460/mt. The CFR Southeast Asia marker was assessed at $335/mt Friday, up $2/mt day on day after taking into consideration a $5/mt backwardation between H1/H2 May. The CFR Korea marker was stable on week at $327/mt CFR, under a selling idea of $328/mt CFR for a 5,000 mt cargo arriving in H2 May. The Taiwan marker was stable week on week at $303/mt CFR amid thin discussions and stable Chemical Industry fundamentals.