05 December 2005 00:01 [Source: ACN]
Naphtha: The MoPJ fell by US$25-26/tonne to US$482-484/tonne cfr Japan from a week earlier, on softening crude values.
January Light Sweet Crude futures were assessed at US$56.16/bbl, down US$1.59/bbl from the previous week’s level. The main reason for the decline in crude prices was low demand levels for heating oil as a result of a warmer-than-usual winter in North America.
However, naphtha supply was fairly balanced, traders said, as no major cracker turnarounds were expected until next year. All the crackers that had been on maintenance shutdowns in early Q4 had restarted, levelling off the naphtha oversupply seen in Q3.
Ethylene: A deal was reported at US$750/tonne cfr NEA early in the week.
Later in the week, a 3500-tonne cargo was sold at US$780/tonne fob SEA.
By the middle of the week, offers had climbed to US$770/tonne cfr NEA. However, buyers showed little interest, responding with bids at US$730/tonne cfr NEA.
Traders said buying interest was likely to remain lacklustre in the coming weeks, as derivative markets were extremely weak ahead of the holiday season.
Butadiene: Prices continued to slide, with traders and buyers concurring that the bottom had not yet been hit. According to some traders, prices were likely to stabilise only after hitting the US$900/tonne cfr China level.
A Chinese customer said it had purchased a 1000-tonne cargo at US$1000/tonne cfr China.
However, a second customer said it was holding off an offer at US$1000/tonne cfr China for a 4500-tonne cargo from a European supplier in the hope that prices would fall in the coming weeks on surplus supply.
Plenty of material was reported to be available in Asian markets due to export cargoes from National Petrochemical Co in Iran and Reliance Industries and Haldia Petrochemicals in India.
About 5000 tonne of material was reported to be on offer from Reliance and 2000 tonne from Haldia.
Methanol: Prices continued to climb, defying the declining trend seen in most other olefins markets.
The main factors behind the upbeat sentiment in methanol markets were tight supply and relatively robust demand.
A deal was reported in NEA at US$254/tonne cfr Taiwan, US$5/tonne up from a week earlier. In China, prices were at US$240-250/tonne cfr China, also up US$5/tonne. In the Chinese domestic market, prices rose by Rmb100/tonne to Rmb2700/tonne delivered.
No deals were heard in SEA. The bid-offer range was at US$245-250/tonne cfr SEA.
MTBE: No deals were heard, but price ideas plunged, even as business continued to be dull.
Bids declined to US$500/tonne fob SEA, in response to offers at US$520/tonne fob SEA. The bid-offer range was substantially lower than the last deal, which was transacted two weeks earlier at US$585-600/tonne fob SEA.
Ammonia: Trade slowed down in Asia, with most producers maintaining that their stocks were sold out until mid-December.
But sentiment continued to be quite bullish, with demand picking up in the US and Chinese markets. Yuzhnyy prices remained stable at US$290-295/tonne fob Yuzhnyy.
Propylene: A South Korean trader sold a cargo at US$870/tonne cfr China, US$50/tonne down from a previous deal reported two weeks earlier. The bid-offer range was at US$850-890/tonne cfr NEA.
Prices were likely to fall further, traders said, as demand was weakening among all derivative segments, especially polypropylene (PP). PP producers slashed their December offers by more than 10% from November prices owing to weak demand and high inventories, suppliers said. PP offers were US$100-130/tonne lower than in the previous week at US$1050/tonne cfr NEA but no bids were heard.
|Asia-Pacific spot||US contracts||European contracts|
|NE Asia1||S Asia and SE Asia2||US3||NWE4|
|Naphtha||482-484 cfr Japan||–||na||na|
|Ethylene||750||780 fob SEA||1201 Oct||825 Q4|
|Propylene5||870 cfr China||10206||1125/1146 Nov||810 Q4|
|Butadiene||1000 cfr China||11106||1125 Nov||815 Q4|
|Methanol||240-250 cfr China||245-2486||313-320 Oct||220 Q4|
|MTBE||610 cfr China6||585-600 fob SEA6||na||na|
|Ammonia||440 cfr China6||3666||399 cfr 2H Nov||na|
1 Prices are fob Korea unless otherwise indicated; 2 Prices are cfr SEA unless otherwise indicated; 3 US prices are contract levels in US$/tonne on an fob basis, courtesy of ECN, unless otherwise stated; 4 European free–delivered contract prices in Euro/tonne unless otherwise stated; 5 Polymer grade; 6 No recent confirmed deals; MoPJ = Mean of Platts Japan; na = not available
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