17 March 2009 06:01 [Source: ICIS news]
By Prema Viswanathan and Bohan Loh
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Low freight rates and Asia’s comparatively better appetite for petrochemicals have been causing the unusual flows of cheaper cargoes from the US, Europe and South Africa into the region, market sources said on Tuesday.
This additional supply from non-traditional sources at a time when even demand in the region is very soft, exerts further price pressures on ?xml:namespace>
“I have purchased polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) from Mediterranean Europe, South America and even
With the availability of lower priced cargoes from alternative sources coupled with the expected start-up of capacities in the
Indian importers and end-users traditionally secure cargoes from Middle Eastern, south east Asian and north east Asian producers due to geographical proximity as well as lower costs of purchases.
But in recent weeks, imports of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into
“Prices of US material are at least $50/tonne (€38.50/tonne) lower than that from
Market sources in
“In February and March, more acetone cargoes from the
Low operating rates at Asian acetone producers of 60-80% also encouraged western competitors to export their material, they added.
Similarly a flood of deep-sea butadiene (BD) cargoes into
About 9,000 tonnes of BD are heading from
The influx in cross-Atlantic and Pacific shipments into
The weakness in the shipping industry also meant cheaper logistics costs, presenting opportunities for trade between countries that were previously restricted by geographical proximity.
Freight rates from all the key European ports (
Another reason why the freight rates are dropping all over the market at the moment is because there are a number of new vessels being built adding to the tonnage availability, she said.
“[Ship] owners are now desperately trying to push back the delivery dates of their new vessels,” she added.
A Pakistan-based polymer trader said he was expecting surplus material from new
“Customers are expecting lower prices for April shipment cargoes, as there is a likely influx of surplus material from the new
($1 = €0.77)
With additional reporting by Jessia Shen from CBI China
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