28 February 2005 00:01 [Source: ACN]
Toluene: Markets were bullish with the return of Chinese buyers and an increase in US values. Prices were at US$700/tonne fob Korea, US$40/tonne higher than in the previous week. Offers rose to US$710-720/tonne fob Korea, while bids were at US$690/tonne fob Korea.
In the Chinese domestic market, prices were at Rmb7000–7200/tonne delivered, Rmb200/tonne higher than in the previous week.
Benzene: Prices continued surging on the back of increasing US values. Prices in the US were at US$3.57-3.58/gal fob USGC, US$0.22-0.23/gal higher than in the previous week. Asian spot prices increased by US$30/tonne to US$1030/tonne fob Korea.
Nippon Petrochemicals had nominated its March benzene contract at US$1070/tonne cfr Asia, US$200/tonne higher than its February settlements.
In NEA, traders were attempting to move at least 20 000 tonne of benzene to the US, in anticipation of higher prices in March. Aggressive trader buying pushed bids up to US$1040/tonne fob Korea, while offers rose to US$1050-1060/tonne fob Korea.
Mixed xylenes: Offers increased on the back of an anticipated increase in demand after the end of the Lunar New Year holidays. A Japanese trader said buyers from southern China were looking to add to their solvent-grade inventories, which were running low.
Offers for isomer-grade xylene increased by US$5-15/tonne to US$625-640/tonne fob Korea, while bids were at US$590-600/tonne fob Korea. Solvent-grade offers were at US$600/tonne cfr China, while bids were at US$590/tonne cfr China.
In the Chinese domestic market, prices rose by Rmb400/tonne to Rmb6000/tonne delivered.
An S-Oil source confirmed that it had restarted its reformer on 21 February. S-Oil’s 350 000 tonne/year toluene unit and 800 000 tonne/year xylene unit were operating again at 100%.
Styrene: Prices increased on the back of high benzene costs and trader speculation. Three deals were done at US$1230/tonne cfr China, US$1240/tonne cfr China, and US$1250/tonne cfr China, US$15-35/tonne higher than in the previous week.
In the Chinese domestic market, deals were concluded at Rmb11 700–12 000/tonne delivered, Rmb200/tonne higher than in the previous week.
Nippon Steel Chemical’s 210 000 tonne/year plant in Oita, Japan, is due for a 15-day turnaround from 1 March.
Paraxylene: Spot prices rose on the back of tight availability and trader speculation. A deal was settled at US$1040/tonne cfr NEA, US$30/tonne higher than in the previous week.
Two Japanese producers had contract nominations at US$980/tonne cfr Asia, while a third Japanese producer and a fourth major producer had contract nominations at US$990/tonne cfr Asia, US$75-85/tonne higher than February settlements.
Orthoxylene: Trade was thin on tight supply with only one 3000-tonne deal concluded at US$850/tonne cfr SEA, US$40-50/tonne higher than the last concluded deal.
Phenol: Trade was thin as buyers adopted a wait-and-see stance.
Prices were unchanged at US$1450/tonne cfr SEA.
|Asia/Pacific spot||US/Euro contracts|
|NE Asia1||S Asia and SE Asia2||US3||NWE4|
|Benzene||1030||930-940 6||933 Feb||701 Feb|
|Toluene||700||700 fob Thailand 6||na||na|
|Xylenes5||600-620 6||570-580 fob Bataan||na||554 Feb|
|Styrene||1230-1250 cfr China||680-690 6||1322-1433 Jan||980-1005 Feb|
|Paraxylene||1040 cfr NEA||975 fob SEA 6||904 Jan||703 Feb|
|Orthoxylene||790 6||850||827 Feb||650 Q1|
|Phenol||1250-1300 cfr China 6||1450||1521.19-1653.46 Q4||971-1011 Jan|
1 Prices are fob Korea unless otherwise indicated 2 Prices are cfr SEA unless otherwise indicated 3 US prices are contract levels in US$/tonne on an fob basis, courtesy of ECN, unless otherwise stated 4 European free–delivered contract prices in Euro/tonne unless otherwise stated 5 Solvent–grade 6 No recent confirmed deals na = not available
Prices contained in this report are obtained by the ACN team through consultation with producers, consumers and merchants in the regions indicated. They are 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. Spot prices 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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