14 May, 2018
In the Asia aromatics market, benzene, toluene and paraxylene prices rose along with gains in crude and naphtha prices, seen as benchmarks for feedstock costs. With the Northern Hemisphere entering a gasoline demand season, demand for aromatics products was firm. This also contributed to the rise.
The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market fell. Deals were done at $1,240/mt the previous week and at $1,210/mt early in the week. Thereafter, buying ideas emerged in the low $1,200’s/mt and the market seemed to have stopped dropping. Some end-users felt that prices were reasonable and the market appeared to be hitting a bottom.
The Asia propylene market stayed intact. In Northeast Asia, talks on June delivery were expected but both buyers and sellers showed no hurry to engage in trade and activity was subdued. Sellers felt that supply was tight and were in no rush to sell while buyers focused on procuring domestic cargoes and buying interest for imported cargoes was not strong. On an FOB Korea basis, propylene facilities that had been under maintenance restarted but derivative facilities also finished turnaround. As a result, cargoes for export remained limited.
The Asia butadiene market moved up in view of tight supply. While availability was limited, buying interest from end-user in Taiwan and Korea was strong. In the China domestic market, a maker in the Northeast lowered ex-works prices. In Southeast Asia, one maker sold June loading via a tender.