9 July, 2018
The Northeast Asia benzene market strengthened. In China, derivative styrene monomer facilities restarted after finishing maintenance and benzene stocks decreased. Further, Sinopec raised ex-works prices and bearish sentiment receded. FOB Korea toluene prices rose along with firm crude prices but weakness in the China domestic market limited the magnitude of the gain. CFR Northeast Asia paraxylene prices increased along with strength in crude and naphtha prices, recovering to the $1,000’s/mt.
The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market rose slightly. With naphtha crackers undergoing maintenance successively and troubles at facilities in Japan, ethylene production was reduced, giving rise to a sense of supply shortage. Although for some derivatives, it was hard to pass on the high ethylene cost, supply/demand remained tight. Under this situation a deal was done into China in the middle of the week at $1,390/mt.
The Asia propylene market fell. In Northeast Asia, amid softening China domestic prices, buying interest from Chinese end-users weakened. Sellers, however, showed no hurry to conduct sales as availability from Korea, Taiwan and Japan was limited. On an FOB Korea basis, no bids and offers were heard and talks were thin. In Southeast Asia, some naphtha crackers were scheduled for maintenance while a derivative facility was about to start up, giving rise to perceptions of tight supply/demand.
The Asia butadiene market increased. While supply was limited, buying interest from Japan was strong. In the China domestic market, availability from the northeast was reduced while some derivative makers showed buying interest. This pushed prices up.