28 January 2011 04:42 [Source: ICIS news]
By Felicia Loo and Clive Ong
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petrochemical prices are expected to firm after the Lunar New Year holidays, underpinned by strong Chinese demand for polymers and styrene that will keep naphtha values buoyant, traders said on Friday.
Trading usually slows down during the week-long Lunar New Year festivities in ?xml:namespace>
But in a sign of sustained downstream demand, prices for petrochemical feedstock naphtha soared to $865-868/tonne (€631-634/tonne) CFR (cost and freight)
“Demand’s strong for petrochemicals and naphtha, although a weak European (naphtha) market weighs on prices in Asia,” said a trader in
Overall, the world’s second-biggest economy grew by 10.3% in 2010, up from 9.2% in 2009.
Styrene prices were assessed as $1,380-1,400/tonne CFR China on Thursday, up from $1,365-1,375/tonne CFR China a month ago, ICIS data showed.
Prices ticked higher on the back of robust benzene values.
Asian benzene prices scaled up to a 28-month high this week, bolstered by a rally in European prices. Market players in Asia were prompted to fix arbitrage benzene shipments to
Meanwhile, on other products, the trend of tight supply reigns.
Formosa Chemicals and Fibers Corp (FCFC) plans to slash output at its 450,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) facility at Mailiao in
FCFC’s propylene supply would be reduced in March as its feedstock supplier Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) would be shutting one of its residual fluid catalytic crackers at Mailiao for maintenance.
Asian PP supply would be tightened from February to May because of a string of regular maintenance works in the Middle East and
Also, dwindling supply and rising costs of feedstock propylene (C3) may soon push Asian acrylonitrile (ACN) prices to $2,500/tonne, the highest level since May 2010.
“Naphtha crackers are still maximising their runs. Downstream margins are good,” said a trader in
($1 = €0.73)
Additional reporting by Mahua Chakravarty, Peh Soo Hwee, Helen Yan and Chow Bee Lin
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