Regional cargoes more attractive than Middle East
Chemical Industry news – Asian polypropylene prices were assessed higher this week amid firmer demand and tighter supply. The tightness was due to a plant shutdown in India, although news of this could not be confirmed with the producer (Chemical Industry). Inventories were heard low. Despite some converters considering cheaper PE resin grades as substitutes, participants said the switch, if any, would be a long drawn-out process and the impact on demand would not be immediate. Market participants expect PP Chemical Industry prices to rise in the second half of the year, due to feedstock naphtha price increases ahead of the IMO 2020 implementation. Most producers were looking at feedstock correlation for price direction. Some end-users agreed that Asia was net deficit in PP Chemical Industry, mainly of copolymer grade, which gave sellers the upper hand in negotiations. Customers were more concerned over the familiarity of resin and ease of use, than price consideration alone, Market sources said. Meanwhile, intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-China (Chemical Industry) free trade agreements will keep member countries’ supply flowing within the region, sources said. This also makes regional cargoes more attractively priced compared to the Middle East and India.
Asian raffia grade polypropylene was assessed up $10/mt week on week at $1,130/mt CFR Far East Asia Chemical Industry Friday below an offer at $1,210/mt CFR China. Injection grade PP was assessed at $1,130/mt CFR Far East Asia, up $10/mt week on week, as Market participants said there was no difference between the raffia and injection grades. IPP Chemical Industry was assessed at $1,150/mt CFR FE Asia, up $10/mt, based on a spread of $20-$30/mt to raffia. Biaxially-oriented PP Chemical Industry was assessed up $10/mt on the week at $1,140/mt CFR Far East Asia, reflecting the typical spread between raffia and BOPP at $10-$20/mt. Block copolymer was assessed up $20/mt on week at $1,180/mt CFR Far East Asia, reflecting the typical spread of $40-$50/mt to raffia. Homopolymer PP of raffia and injection grades were assessed at $1,180/mt CFR Southeast Asian Chemical Industry, on deals concluded.