04 February 2010 06:25 [Source: ICIS news]
By Pearl Bantillo
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Petrochemicals trade in ?xml:namespace>
However, taming the expectation is a spate of trade barriers in the form of antidumping duties currently in the works in
Regional players across the base oils, polymers, methanol and elastomers markets share the mixed sentiment.
The Chinese market would be closed for business on 15-19 February to celebrate the Lunar New Year, when
An ox is associated with hard work and stability while the tiger is characterized by bravery, aggression and unpredictability.
“The [Chinese] year of the tiger is true to its name and [would] bring about short-term trends,” said a methanol distributor in
“You can always expect some traders to be as brave and quick-moving as [a] tiger in speculating where prices will go and hence turbulence is almost guaranteed,” he added.
Towards late February, the market activities would pick up, analysts said.
“After the holidays, demand will gradually turn better as the spring [February to May] is a peak season for some chemical downstream sectors, like fertilizers,” said Wang Huiqin, a Beijing-based analyst at consultancy firm TX Investment.
Restocking would drive up demand post the holidays, market sources said, citing that most players refrained from building up stocks even after their inventories had whittled down to a minimum due to prevailing strong values.
"Prices are just too high now. We don't want to replenish inventories although stocks are very low," said a polyolefin end-user based in southern
“Buyers now are all waiting for prices to slide further down before taking action,” said a source with PetroChina, a major state-owned petrochemical company.
Other market players, meanwhile, expect the price weakness to be temporary and could reverse soon, helped by the firming up of crude future prices, which were hovering at $76-77/bbl levels on Thursday.
“Much of the buying in
The start of the calendar year 2010 witnessed an extension of the bullish trend late last year as
“Chemical consumption in different industries will increase, I am very optimistic,” said Xu Chao, a Shanghai-based analyst at Shanghai-based brokerage house Dalu Futures.
In the styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market, demand is expected to pick in March in conjunction with the ramping up of operating rates at tyre plants in China, said a South Korean SBR producer.
But new capacities coming up in
A host of antidumping duties (ADD) the country had implemented – the latest of which is on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) imports from South Korea and Thailand – may also have serious repercussions on trade, industry sources said.
With additional reporting by Helen Yan, Heng Hui, Anu Agarwal, Chow Bee Lin, Fanny Zhang, Judith Wang and Prema Viswanathan
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