Petrochemicals: Apr 9-13: Benzene rises on firmer crude, but capped by high stocks in China

16 April, 2018

FOB Korea benzene prices firmed up on the back of a strength in crude oil prices. But benzene failed to catch up with the crude oil market’s rapid increase, as benzene’s upside room was capped by high inventories in East China. Elsewhere, prices of toluene and paraxylene also rose in line with the crude market’s gain.

In the CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market, an ex-Europe cargo in 12,000mt size early this week changed hands to China for May arrival on a floating basis. Some players earlier forecast downward price movements amid ample supply, but the market maintained a firm trend on the back of lingering supply scarcity tied to planned facility maintenance. In late this week, one cargo was traded in the mid $1,300/mt level for end-April and early-May delivery to China.

Propylene markets in Asia strengthened across the board. The CFR North East Asia market was pushed up by supply tightness coupled with growing demand, at a time when domestic prices in China showed an upward trend toward the middle of this week. But a wait-and-see mood dominated the market later in the week, after futures prices for derivative polypropylene softened in China.
emptyIn the Southeast Asia market, Thailand’s PTTGC sold a May-loading cargo via tender.

Butadiene markets leveled off across Asia.
Butadiene markets in Asia were thinly talked amid limited offers and bids. Supply tightness remained unabated, while the market for derivative synthetic rubber failed to show strength. Under the circumstances, players on both seller and buyer sides deferred clinching deals in a relaxed mood.


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