04 July 2008 05:43 [Source: ICIS news]
By Jeremiah Chan ?xml:namespace>
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Price hikes of around $80-100/tonne nominated by Asian bisphenol A (BPA) sellers have failed to take effect in the key Chinese market due to lacklustre domestic demand, traders and importers said on Friday.
Offers from BPA majors were heard at $1,980-2,100/tonne CFR (cost and freight) ?xml:namespace>
“We have no choice but to move up our offers,” the marketing official from
“Phenol is up nearly $200/tonne, and we have to pass on the costs to our customers,” he said, although he added that buying sentiment appeared to have waned this week.
However, Chinese end-users in the downstream epoxy resins sector saw little incentive to accept the higher numbers due to a seasonal lull in demand.
Bids from most buyers were largely heard capped in the low $1,900s/tonne CFR
Difficulties in shipping co-feedstock epichlorohydrin (ECH) due to the upcoming Beijing Olympics also kept epoxy resin production rates low, with some traders estimating current Chinese epoxy resin operating rates at a dismal 50-60%.
“The overall financial situation in China is now very poor, and most downstream products are not doing well,” the procurement manager of Chinese epoxy resin major Jiangsu Sanmu Group said, adding that they could not buy cargoes above $1,900/tonne CFR without eroding their profit margins.
However, this dip in imports did little to boost domestic prices, as traders maintained that current Chinese inventories were still sufficient for domestic consumption.
Chinese domestic offers were heard at yuan (CNY)16,600-16,700/tonne ($2,423-2,434/tonne) ex-warehouse on Friday, with fixtures reported at CNY16,400-16,500/tonne ex-warehouse, representing a CNY200/tonne dip from the previous week.
($1 = CNY 6.86)
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