06 November 1995 00:00 [Source: ACN]
Ethylene firms temporarily on China buying while butadiene falters
Naphtha: Markets are bearish for prompt material. The fire at Pertamina's Cilacap refinery in Indonesia had little significant impact on prices, although offers for prompt shipment have firmed slightly. Japanese traders reported an increase in buying activity. Showa Denko has been enquiring for spot cargoes following its end-October startup after maintenance shutdown. Offers are US$159-160/tonne cfr Japan for H2 December delivery. Quotes for South Korea are MoPJ minus US$3-4/tonne for H1 December. Singapore markets are quiet with no prices being talked. Aramco has exercised the price review clause in contracts with Japanese buyers (ACN 6 November p24).
Ethylene: Markets are quiet in NEA with producer offers at US$260-275/tonne fob Korea for November and December shipments despite limited spot availability. Market sentiment is mixed over whether prices are staying weak or whether a slight firming has occurred in NEA (ACN 6 November p24). Taiwanese contract prices settled at US$380/tonne cfr Taiwan for November delivery from Japan. One 700-tonne spot cargo was settled at US$350/tonne cfr Taiwan for November delivery.
Propylene: Spot availability in NEA is limited due to ongoing shutdowns. Daelim reported it had no spot availability and is unlikely to resume spot exports until December. South Korean producers anticipate a need to reduce offer prices in December when more supply will be available. Japanese traders report limited enquiries for propylene from China buyers. One South Korean producer has concluded a 700-tonne fixture to China at US$460-470/tonne cfr China for November delivery.
Butadiene: South Korean producers may be unable to achieve the hoped-for US$600/tonne cfr China as prices may have already turned. One 1000-1500-tonne cargo, which concluded at US$575/tonne cfr China for November delivery, has pushed down buyer ideas. China buyers are looking for US$550-560/tonne cfr for November delivery. Two 1000-1500 tonne spot cargoes were settled at US$580/tonne cfr China for early November delivery. Price ideas are said to be falling because of higher inventories due to delayed shipments to the US. A butadiene cargo is rumoured to be offered to China at US$560/tonne cfr China for November shipment from Singapore.
Methanol: Markets are quiet and prices are still softening. Taiwanese spot imports are reported at US$150/tonne cfr Taiwan for October and November delivery. South Korean price levels were US$154/tonne cfr Korea for October contract cargoes and are expected to decrease further in November.
MTBE: Prices in both SEA and NEA are described as bearish and suppliers report limited enquiries. Buyer ideas in NEA are said to be US$265-270/tonne cfr for November, although CPC has already rejected supplier bids at US$260/tonne cfr Taiwan as too high. A tender for 40 000 tonne of MTBE was awarded at US Gulf spot price minus alpha, believed to be US$50/tonne, fob Korea for delivery in 1996 to the US (ACN 6 November p24).
Ammonia: Australia's CSBP closed a tender on 1 November for 20-23 000 tonne of ammonia for 3-15 January delivery. Taiwan's CPDC will close a tender on 7 November for the 7-20 January delivery of 12-15 000 tonne of ammonia. Sanapik concluded an 18 000-tonne fixture at US$220/tonne cfr west-coast India for November delivery. Producer offer prices remain at US$175-180/tonne fob Yuzhnyy.
|Bulk chemical spot prices - US$/tonne|
|NE Asia1||SE Asia2||US3||NWE4|
|Naphtha||152 cfr Korea7||15.50/bbl8||N/A||N/A|
|Ethylene||350 cfr Taiwan||355-360||0.24/lb||810|
|Propylene6||460-470 cfr China||360 cfr Indonesia||0.218/lb||570|
|Butadiene||575-580 cfr China||N/A||0.25/lb||668|
|Methanol||165 cfr Taiwan5||155-160||0.40/gal||225 fob|
|MTBE||272-275 cfr Taiwan||270-2755||--||--|
|Ammonia||235 cfr Taiwan||220 cfr wc India||--||N/A|
1Prices are fob Korea unless otherwise indicated
2Prices are cfr SEA unless otherwise indicated
3US prices are September contract levels on an fob basis unless otherwise indicated
4European FD Q4 contract price in DM/tonne, courtesy of ECN
5No known recent business
7For H2 November delivery
8Quote for H1 December delivery
Prices contained in this report are obtained through consultation with producers, consumers and merchants in the regions indicated. They are intended as a guide to price levels of recent business and reflect medium to large tonnage sales. Spot prices are quoted as indicated: cfr - cost and freight; fob - free on board; cif - cost, insurance and freight; FD - free delivered. Spot prices in this issue are based on information available mid-week prior to the date of issue. Dollar prices are based on prevailing rates of exchange.
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