02 November 1998 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Naphtha prices are at $138-140/ tonne cif NWE. Interest for physical parcels was noted at $140/tonne cif NWE, but the market is in backwardation for November and December with swaps at $137/tonne and $135-136/tonne cif NWE respectively.
Ethylene spot business includes a sale from France into Turkey at $347/tonne cif Yarimca for late November. Petkim had tendered for 2200-3000 tonne but later agreed a sale outside the tender because suppliers were unable to deliver on the specified date. Ideas for November deliveries to NWE are higher at $360/tonne cif. Atochem resumed full operating rates at Carling and Gonfreville last week as planned and turnarounds were ongoing at BP Grangemouth and EniChem Priolo. More Q4 contract settlements have followed at DM760/tonne.
Propylene spot markets remain inactive in western Europe with buyers' needs more than covered under contract. Asian prices firmed to $300-305/tonne cif SE Asia with unconfirmed reports of business done at $312/tonne cif.
A butadiene spot deal is reported at DM468/tonne FD for 2000 tonne for November lifting. Contract settlement is reported in France at FF1750/tonne for Q4 down from DM2000/tonne FD in quarter three and the expectation is that German contracts will be agreed at the equivalent level of DM520/tonne FD. Turnarounds are ongoing at the Shell Moerdijk, BP Grangemouth, EniChem Brindisi and at the Borealis extraction unit in Sines.
Benzene spot markets remain quiet with no demand. Price ideas remain around contract level, at either side of DM235/tonne cif/fob NWE. Markets are balanced with virtually no imported material arriving in Europe. US spot is stable around 80 cent/gal.
Toluene price ideas are notional around $190-195/tonne fob Rotterdam. A buyer reports offers in the Rhine area at DM320/tonne fob NWE. Product is readily available, but buying interest is slack.
Xylene prices are notional in the listed range. Some bids were sounded in the low $200s/tonne fob Rotterdam, but no deals were fixed as ECN went to press.
Styrene intertrade business was done at below $365/tonne cif ARA for 1000 tonne November delivery. One trader quoted truck business at DM650-660/tonne FCA. Markets are balanced, but demand for spot material flat. US spot prices are 16-16.25 cent/lb.
Paraxylene prices firmed to $247-255/tonne fob, partly attributed to reduced Russian exports, with the Russians reportedly running their PX plants at half capacity. Traders are offering for November/December delivery at $255-257/tonne fob Rotterdam.
Offers for 1000 tonne lots of orthoxylene have been made at $240/tonne fob, but no deals were fixed. Prices are holding in the listed range, although there is talk of higher prices around $245/tonne fob for November/ December delivery.
Methanol prices have slipped marginally in a quiet spot market. Producers said most buyers are covered with contractual quantities at the start of Q4. Offers in Rotterdam were made at the equivalent of DM170-180/tonne fob for T2, but interest was minimal. All four plants in Trinidad are running normally following outages. The fourth plant restarted production on 23 October after a maintenance turnaround. US spot prices are at 26-27 cent/gal.
MTBE prices firmed to $215-220/tonne fob. Several European end-users are seeking product totalling 20 000 tonne for prompt delivery. Offers were made for large parcels at over $220/tonne fob Rotterdam. Business was done at $215-216/tonne fob through the week and reached the higher end of the range by mid-week. Some traders were looking for trans-Atlantic business but no deals were agreed. In the US, prices were steady at 63 cent/gal US Gulf and firmed to 68 cent/gal in New York Harbour.
Ammonia traders report increased availability in Yuzhnyy and the US. Prices are now quoted at $105-107/tonne fob Yuzhnyy. Turkey has purchased 20 000 tonne at $124-125/tonne cif, no duty, November shipment. A 12 000 tonne shipment was also fixed to Turkey at $136-137/tonne cif for December-January delivery.
Bulk chemical prices
|European contract||European spot||Change on||US contract|
|DM/tonne||$/tonne||$/tonne||last week||price $/tonne|
|Naphtha||na||na||138-140 (cif) (nom)||+4||na|
|Ethylene||760 (Q4)||463||355-360 (cif) (nom)||nc||347-364 (Oct)|
|Propylene@||440 (Q4)||268||230-240 (cif) (nom)||nc||298 (Sept)|
|Butadiene||595 (Q3)||333||200-210 (fob) (nom)||nc||331 (Sept)|
|Benzene||385 (Q4)||229||233-235 (fob)||nc||215 (Oct)|
|Toluene||335 (Q4) (fob)||199||190-195 (fob) (nom)||-5||204 (Oct)|
|Xylene||na||na||205-210 (fob)||nc||188 (Oct)|
|Styrenea||765-805 (Q4)||467-492||400 (T2) (fob (nom))||nc||507-520 (Sept)|
|360-365 (T1) (cif)||nc|
|Paraxylene||560 (Q4)||325||247-255 (fob)||+11||325 (Q4)|
|Orthoxylene||414 (Q4)||247||235-240 (fob)||nc||298 (Sept)|
|Methanol||195 (Q4) (fob)||115||103-109 (T2) (fob)||-4||103-108 (Sept)|
|100-105 (T1) (cif) (nom)||nc|
Prices contained in this report are obtained by ECN through consultation with producers, consumers and merchants across Europe. They are intended as a guide to price levels of recent business in Europe and reflect medium to large tonnage sales. Spot prices are quoted fob (free-on-board) NW European port, cif (cost, insurance and freight), FCA (free carrier), CFR (cost and freight). T1 = imported material subject to EC common external tariffs, T2 = EC material, not dutiable, bld = blending grade, com = commercial grade, nit = nitration grade. European contract prices are quoted on a free delivered basis (FD) unless otherwise stated; initial but unfixed negotiating range is indicated (nom), n.a. = not applicable, m = monthly contracts.
Spot prices in this issue are based on information available on 28 October 1998.
Dollar prices are based on rates of exchange on 27 October 1998 DM:$1.658; FF:$5.562; Dfl:$1.870; $:£1.668. The dollar equivalent range is based on exchange rates prevalent at the time of contract closure if available, or an average rate for the quarter.
* TDI grade
@ Indicates polymer grade
a Lower figure for barge price, higher figure free delivery
+ Indicates duty paid
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