10 January 2008 05:01 [Source: ICIS news]
By Jeremiah Chan
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--A Malaysia-based oleochemical major has offered refined glycerine above the $1,900/tonne FOB (free on board) SE (southeast) Asia mark late Wednesday but few buyers have stepped forward to take positions.
“We are now pushing for $1,900-1,950/tonne FOB. If our customers think that such prices are too high, they can always choose not to buy,” a marketing official from the Malaysian company told ICIS news.
Their offers last week were at $1,850/tonne FOB SE Asia, he said, justifiying the hike by citing higher demand the product had been receiving over the past week.
“I am getting an average of five new enquiries per day,” he said.
Some traders however, felt that the hike was unrealistically high.
“Anybody can throw out numbers, depending on what their positions are,” a regional glycerine trader said, adding that the producer in question could possibly be short on cargoes, or be in an oversold position.
Glycerine price hikes have been abundant over the past year, and offers have almost tripled from the low $600s/tonne FOB SE Asia levels last seen in April 2007, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Some other sellers in the region expressed their doubts about such high offers.
“I have been offering cargoes at $1,800/tonne FOB SE Asia, but none of my customers have come back to me yet,” a senior official from an Indonesian glycerine producer said.
Other traders also agreed that such offers were too high.
“It is good news if they really can sell material at $1,900/tonne today, but honestly, I have my doubts,” one ?xml:namespace>
Still, with feedstock crude palm oil prices futures traded on the Bursa Malaysia closing at a record high of ringgit (M$) 3,201/tonne ($979/tonne) on Wednesday, overall sentiment remained strong.
“Several months ago, I predicted that glycerine prices would not exceed $1,600/tonne. Now that we’re offering cargoes at above $1,900/tonne, I really have no idea how much further it’ll rise,” the marketing official said in response for a request on his outlook on prices in coming weeks.
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