03 November 2008 10:21 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asia spot phenol has fallen around 50% since early October to hit a four-year low of $750/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China on waning demand and crashing upstream values, buyers and sellers said on Monday.
Prices slumped to $750-850/tonne CFR China on 31 October, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing, as sellers who were saddled with inventory slashed prices to entice demand.
“The market is very bad, and it’s hard to find interested buyers,” said a northeast Asian producer.
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Their efforts, however, have failed to alleviate the supply overhang, as downstream demand waned amid the ongoing global economic crisis while manufacturing output has been cut and factories closed.
Slumping domestic prices in the key
Major China producers cut prices by up to yuan (CNY) 2,300/tonne ($336/tonne) within one week, with listed prices pegged at CNY7,000-7,500/tonne EXW (ex-works) on 31 October, due to diminishing demand and mounting inventory pressure.
“There is no buying interest for imports because Chinese domestic prices are falling rapidly,” said a China-based trader in Mandarin.
“Everybody is expecting further price falls in the coming weeks,” the trader added, as producers could have little choice but to cut prices further due to ample stocks and poor demand.
Some sellers reported a willingness to discount heavily if there were serious buyers, though the demand for imports remained lacklustre amid comfortable inventory levels and uncertainty about the price outlook, traders said.
($1 = CNY6.84)
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