FocusHoliday season to boost Asian PC demand

18 October 2007 05:28  [Source: ICIS news]

PC demand is expected to increase with the holiday seasonBy Prema Viswanathan

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--The year-end holiday season demand for playstation consoles and compact discs (CDs) is set to drive Asian polycarbonate (PC) consumption from late October, producers and traders said on Thursday.

Buyers were also keen to secure supplies amid worries that PC prices may track surging crude values, which has been hovering around $88/bbl currently, and turnarounds which tightened supply.

Asian PC markets had been somewhat tepid in the past few weeks due to sluggish trade, but this is set to change in the coming weeks, a producer said.

“The optical grade market is likely to be more bullish than the general purpose (GP) moulding and extrusion grades, due to strengthening demand for CDs and handheld game consoles, whose casing is made of PC,” he said.

PC optical grade prices have risen by $20/tonne in northeast Asia to $2,630-2,650/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) Hong Kong, according to global market intelligence agency, ICIS pricing.

A second producer said it had raised offers for November by $20/tonne for the optical grade from October levels and was hopeful of achieving its price target.

Another producer, however, anticipated customer resistance if it raised offers despite the higher demand and was planning to roll over prices next month.

Buying interest for GP moulding grade PC also picked up this week, ahead of the peak demand season for the electronics and office automation segments which begins in November, a trader said.

Prices of this grade rose by up to $50/tonne in southeast Asia, to $2,800-2,850/tonne CIF SE Asia, and by up to $30/tonne in northeast Asia to $2,800-2,830/tonne CIF Hong Kong.

The sharp surge in crude values this week brought PC buyers into the market, in anticipation of a rise in PC prices in the coming weeks on the back of an expected increase in feedstock bisphenol A (BPA) prices.

Also boosting market sentiment was relatively snug supply due to maintenance turnarounds at Chimei-Asahi’s plant in Taiwan and Samyang Corp’s plant in Korea this month.

By: Prema Viswanathan
+65 6780 4359

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