Petrochemicals: Jun 4-8: Ethylene hits ceiling on derivative tumble

11 June, 2018

The Northeast Asia aromatics market lacked upward momentum, reflecting bearishness in crude prices for the most part of the week. For the benzene market, a sharp fall in derivative styrene monomer (SM) prices also weakened market sentiment.


The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market was hitting a ceiling. As mentioned above, derivative SM prices tumbled and buying interest slackened. With naphtha cracker maintenance in Asia continuing, supply was seen to be limited. On the other hand, several derivative facilities in Southeast Asia were scheduled for turnaround in July, leading to views that availability of ethylene from Southeast Asia might increase. A non-regional cargo for end-July delivery was traded at $1,335/mt.


The Asia propylene market declined. In Northeast Asia, with China domestic prices softening, buying interest from Chinese end-users receded. In the China domestic market, derivative polypropylene prices fell, causing buying interest for propylene to weaken and perceptions of ample propylene supply to heighten. On an FOB Korea basis, no bids and offers were heard. In Southeast Asia, Thailand’s PTTGCC conducted a sell tender for July loading.


The Asia butadiene market softened. Amid weakness in derivative synthetic rubber prices, the butadiene market was seen to be overheated and moved down. A deal for July delivery was reportedly done at $1,700-1,750/mt. In Southeast Asia, one maker had room to sell July cargoes.


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