China Feb refined glycerine imports down 37% on weak demand

29 March 2011 04:54  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s refined glycerine imports dropped by 37% month on month in February to 7,272.42 tonnes because of weak demand due to the availability of cheaper locally made product, official statistics showed on Tuesday.

The country’s refined glycerine imports in February were down by 4,316.06 tonnes from January and down by 60% or 10,947.19 tonnes from the same period a year earlier, according to data from China customs.

Market sources told ICIS the drop in imports was mainly because of weak demand stemming from the wide availability of locally produced refined glycerine at more competitive prices.

“Locally produced refined glycerine is almost $50-100/tonne cheaper than imports and most people will choose to buy local [product],” said a Malaysian producer.

Moreover, many said that most Chinese buyers had covered their requirements with stock piles lasting into July, a China-based trader said.

“Most buyers already have covered [their] requirements for March and April, so I expect buying activity to remain weak next month,” added the trader.

However, some southeast Asian producers doubted that this was the case.

“We still get enquiries from some Chinese buyers and they are still buying from us. Some discerning buyers have to use trusted brand-name products of good quality, as their downstream applications call for it,” said an Indonesian producer.

Domestically produced material was traded at yuan (CNY) 6,000/tonne ($913/tonne) ex-works, compared with imports from southeast Asia at $800-860/tonne (€568-611/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China Main Port (CMP) on 23 March, ICIS data showed. 

($1 = CNY6.57 / €0.71)

By: Serena Seng

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