30 July, 2018
The FOB Korea benzene market was firm due to strong benchmark feedstock crude prices. The FOB Korea toluene market also rose along with strong buying interest caused by gains in China domestic prices. The CFR Northeast Asia paraxylene market increased on buying from traders covering short-positions as supply/demand was not as week as previously thought. This in turn sent the feedstock mixed xylene market higher.
The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market decreased slightly. Some petrochemical makers were keen to sell spot cargoes due to high ethylene prices so far and end-users hoped that the market would fall and retreated to the sidelines. A Taiwanese maker canceled a sell tender on Jul 23 for August loading. A Saudi Arabian maker also canceled a sell tender for 9,000mt and reissued a tender for 6,500mt, reducing the quantity. Going forward, naphtha crackers would under maintenance successively and supply was expected to remain tight. As a result, sellers showed no hurry to sell. Under this situation, although the market softened, the magnitude of the fall was small.
The Asia propylene market was stable on a CFR Northeast Asia and CFR Southeast Asia basis but FOB Korea prices strengthened. In Northeast Asia, supply remained tight and sellers were in no rush to conduct sales. On the other hand, although end-users showed buying interest for imported cargoes, they refrained from purchasing at prices that were higher than the domestic market. Consequently, no deals were reported and talks were stymied. On an FOB Korea basis, amid supply tightness, one maker sold at $1,075/mt via a tender. In Southeast Asia, no bids and offers were heard and activity was muted.
The Asia butadiene market stayed intact. Due to high procurement costs, sellers refrained from sales. On the other hand, buyers were inactive in spot purchase as derivative prices failed to catch up with high butadiene prices. Consequently, fixed-price negotiations were not heard and talks were mostly based on market quotations.