26 August 2009 06:41 [Source: ICIS news]
By Peh Soo Hwee
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China’s weak demand for ethylene has paralysed trading activity in northeast (NE) Asia and cargoes have started heading towards the southeastern part of the region, where the material currently commands better prices, market sources said on Wednesday.
“The cargoes have all gone to southeast Asia,” said a Taiwanese buyer in Mandarin.
Talks with traders had lapsed due to a wide buy-sell gap, he added.
Selling ideas were pegged at up to $1,020-1,030/tonne (€714-721/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE Asia for cargoes arriving in September while buying ideas in the region hovered in the low to mid $900s/tonne CFR NE Asia, market sources said.
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End-users in the country were sufficiently covered as domestic crackers were running at high operating rates averaging 90-100%, industry sources said.
Impending cracker start-ups had also contributed to expectations of ample domestic supplies and Chinese buyers had no incentive to seek spot cargoes, they added.
Spot ethylene prices slipped $10/tonne at the top-end of the range to $950-970/tonne CFR NE Asia last week due to limited buying interest, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Prices in southeast Asia, on the other hand, rose $20-40/tonne to $1,030-1,060/tonne CFR over the same period, based on the same data.
Demand was comparatively healthier in southeast Asia partly due to the continued delays in the delivery of term cargoes from
Gas feedstock shortage at Assaluyeh in southern
During the week, a 3,500-tonne ethylene cargo was heard sold on formula to a buyer in
Spot supply from
Discussions between producers and traders were heard in the low $900s/tonne on FOB (free on board) basis although some market participants said there had been deals done below these levels.
“September is (the end of) the first half accounting period in
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