23 July, 2018
The FOB Korea benzene market lacked clear directions and moved along with cost benchmarks such as crude prices. On the other hand, FOB Korea toluene prices were firm, reflecting firmness in the China domestic market. Paraxylene prices moved up as Korean makers were planning maintenance in September.
The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market fell slightly as FOB spot cargoes emerged from Taiwan, Thailand and Saudi Arabia, causing perceptions of tight supply/demand to ease. The extent of the fall, however, was limited with a deal for August delivery to Northeast Asia heard at about $1,385/mt in the middle of the week.
The Asia propylene market moved up. In Northeast Asia, supply was tight while buying interest from Chinese end-users was seen. But with no cargoes available, deals were not heard and price ideas gradually moved up. In the China domestic market, prices rose as supply was limited and buying interest from derivative makers was strong. On an FOB Korea and a CFR Southeast Asia basis, bids and offers were not heard and activity was muted
The Asia butadiene market weakened. In Northeast Asia, supply remained tight but derivative synthetic rubber prices softened and buying interest from other end-users was not as strong as before. The market was seen to be overheated and underwent a downward revision. China domestic prices, however, increased as availability was not ample and prices were relatively lower than the imported cargo market. In Southeast Asia, one maker sold 2,000mt loading August.