Asia refined glycerine prices soften in April on weak demand

18 April 2011 08:35  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE(ICIS)--Asian refined glycerine prices are likely to soften throughout April on the back of prevailing weak demand, producers said on Monday.

According to ICIS data, prices of refined glycerine in Asia fell to $740-780/tonne (€511-538/tonne) FOB (free on board) SE (southeast) Asia on 13 April, down by $20-50/tonne compared with 16 March.

Prices had fallen by $140-170/tonne or by 15.9-17.9% from the start of the year.

“Demand is weak as most buyers had covered their positions for April,” a Malaysian producer said.

“Buyers are staying on the sidelines and will return hopefully by end April to buy forward,” an Indonesian producer added.

Many market players said that when prices were falling to $800s/tonne FOB SE Asia in the middle of February, most buyers had started to shore up their inventory as they were afraid that prices would rebound. Demand had become weak, therefore, since buyers had sufficient material to last throughout April.

In addition, some regional producers said that locally produced refined glycerine in India and China were cheaper than imports, making it difficult for southeast Asian producers to compete.

“My customers are not booking material from Malaysia or Indonesia now. They are buying local,” a China-based refined glycerine trader said.

“I believe refined glycerine prices will remain soft until the end of April. Hopefully when buyers start to come back to the market to replenish their inventory in May, the demand will fuel price hikes,” a Singapore-based glycerine trader said.

Market estimates put the prices of locally produced refined glycerine in China and India at $710-720/tonne FOB China and $700-720/tonne FOB India, respectively, on 18 April.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on refined glycerine, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Serena Seng

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