25 June, 2018
The FOB Korea benzene market softened. Stocks in China remained high due to high production and an influx of Southeast Asian cargoes. As a result, demand for Korean cargoes was weak. Toluene and mixed xylene prices were also on a downtrend owing to sluggish demand for gasoline blending in China.
The CFR Northeast Asia ethylene market showed small gains due to firm buying interest from styrene monomer (SM) makers. A deal was done into China at $1,375/mt. On the other hand, amid weakness in polyethylene prices, some petrochemical makers apparently considered reducing polyethylene production and selling ethylene.
The Asia propylene market was unchanged. In Northeast Asia, activity was thin as buyers and sellers showed no hurry to engage in trade. Sellers felt that supply was tight and was unwilling to conduct sales. On the other hand, end-users were not keen to buy imported cargoes in view of softening China domestic prices. In Southeast Asia, Thailand’s PTTGC conducted a sell tender for 2,350mt loading end-July.
The Asia butadiene market rose slightly on the back of limited availability. With naphtha crackers in Asia undergoing maintenance successively, butadiene supply remained tight. Under this situation, a European cargo for second-half August delivery was traded at about $1,660/mt. China domestic prices fell due to weak demand.