28 December 2010 05:33 [Source: ICIS news]
By Mahua Chakravarty
At noon on Tuesday, toluene prices were at $950-960/tonne (€722-730/tonne) FOB (free on board)
Toluene is used in a number of solvent applications in paints and coatings, and is also used as an octane booster in gasoline.
“It may seem on [the] surface that
Vehicle sales in China was projected to hit more than 17m units this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Last year,
Toluene demand prospects were strong for gasoline blending, with projected growth of more than 10% this year, industry sources said. Demand for solvents, on the other hand, was expected to grow at a moderate 3-5% pace, said a key east China-based importer and distributor.
These projected demand growths were firmly backed by expectations that
However, a number of Chinese importers lost money betting that toluene demand for blending would take off this year, industry sources said.
They had locked themselves in for about 40,000 tonnes/month of term volume in 2010, which just sent inventory of the material to record highs in east
Most end-users mostly opted for mixed aromatics, which were in ample supply, instead of toluene in 2010, traders said.
Regional sellers, on the other hand, were looking towards other markets with good economic prospects such as
The country uses toluene for downstream applications in pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals sectors.
In southeast Asia,
However, the deluge of interest from northeast and southeast-Asian sellers to export to southeast Asia and
Inventory levels in
($1 = €0.76)Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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