20 March 2009 09:59 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Prices of Asian aromatics and polymers have rallied due to the near four-month high in crude values despite weak downstream demand, industry sources said on Friday.
At 5:15pm local time (8:00am GMT), May Brent on ?xml:namespace>
NYMEX light sweet crude futures surged more than $3/bbl to $51.61/bbl on 19 March due to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to pump nearly $1,000bn into the
Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) traders in China raised offers by $20/tonne (€15/tonne) to above $1,000/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China for prompt lifting at bonded warehouses, citing firmer crude values and a stream of delays in new plant start-ups in the Middle East.
In the aromatics cluster, benzene values surged to five-month highs, with bids for any May-lifting parcels rising $10-12/tonne from the 19 March highest bid to $460-462/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea
Offers were similarly raised to $470-475/tonne FOB
Bids for any May-lifting toulene cargoes also rose $10/tonne to $540-545/tonne FOB
“This increase in [polymer and aromatics] prices could be driven by restocking activities, since there was so much destocking, particularly in the last few months,” said Sutthichai Kumworachai, a petrochemical analyst at brokerage firm KGI securities.
Kumworachai said that his target price for average crude values in 2009 was $50/bbl, with expectations for a further increase in prices during the second half of the year.
Despite prices rallying in the upstream aromatics and polymers sectors, price sentiments remained weak in the Asian propylene oxide (
“Producers have no desire to increase prices due to weak demand and falling [feedstock] chlorine prices,” said an industry source, adding that average operating rates of PO plants in
Only one major northeast Asian producer was heard to be running its
($1 = €0.73)
With additional reporting by Mahua Chakravarty, Chow Bee Lin and Yu Guo
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