6 Aug, 2018
The CFR Northeast Asia paraxylene market rose sharply as some traders bought actively to cover their short-positions. These traders had expected that the startup of new facilities this year would lead to ample supply and cause the market to soften. The FOB Korea benzene market was firm. The China domestic market also strengthened on firm buying interest from derivative makers.
The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market was quiet. Ahead of talks on September cargoes, players were trying to ascertain the supply/demand situation. Many sources felt that supply would tighten as several naphtha crackers in Korea would undergo maintenance from September. On an FOB basis, one Korean maker sold a cargo loading end-August. As derivative polyethylene prices were below ethylene, some makers reduced derivative production and sold ethylene.
In the Asia propylene market, CFR Northeast Asia and CFR Southeast Asia prices rose while FOB Korea prices were unchanged. In Northeast Asia, availability was limited and sellers did not show offers. On the other hand, firmness in China domestic prices led to stronger buying interest for imported cargoes. But as buyers avoided paying higher than domestic cargoes, deals were not heard. The FOB Korea and CFR Southeast Asia markets were quiet.
In the Asia butadiene market, a wait-and-see mood was strong. As supply was limited, sellers maintained a firm stance. On the other hand, end-users were inactive in buying as derivative synthetic rubber prices were softening. In Southeast Asia, two makers sold one cargo each loading September via tenders.