19 November 2009 09:47 [Source: ICIS news]
By Judith Wang
SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--A shortage of natural gas as China battles an unusually strong winter spell has been pushing up domestic chemical prices this quarter, even as demand has stayed modest, industry sources said on Thursday.
The resulting tight supply has led chemical prices to increase, market sources said.
On Thursday, methanol prices rose by CNY150/tonne ($22/tonne) from last Friday to CNY2,180-2,250/tonne ex-tank east ?xml:namespace>
Domestic melamine prices increased by CNY200-300/tonne from late last week to CNY8,200-8,300/tonne, traders said, adding that many producers were unwilling to sell cargoes in anticipation of a further price hike.
“The natural gas-based chemical prices will likely continue to rise in the future on the tight natural gas supply this winter,” a methanol producer in east
The Chinese government regulates the use of natural gas for industrial purposes in the winter season to ensure ample supply for heating purposes.
A number of provinces in
Consequently, chemical output has declined, with producers either shutting down or cutting operating rates, industry sources said.
Methanol plants in southwestern
Sichuan-based Jianfeng Chemical shut down its 30,000 tonne/year melamine plant from 17 November for two months of maintenance work and will shut down its 520,000 tonne/year urea plant around 20 November, a company source said.
Logistics problems posed by heavy snowfall in most parts of
Prices of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in southern
“Some shipments have also been delayed to south
Based on a forecast from
A number of producers and traders expressed concern that prices would start to fall as soon as the transportation problems have been resolved, pushing cargoes into southern
($1 = CNY6.83)
Mindy Liu, Emily Zhang and Penny Wang of CBI China contributed to this article.
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