China’s coal tar prices to drop further on weak demand

31 May 2011 03:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--China’s coal tar prices have fallen since the middle of March and are expected to fall further in June because of sluggish demand, industry sources said on Tuesday.

In northern China, coal tar prices fell by yuan (CNY) 475-525/tonne ($71-79/tonne) from the middle of March to CNY2,975-3,075/tonne EXW (ex-works) on 30 May, according to data from Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

Downstream coal tar deep processing sectors, which account for 70% of coal tar consumption in the domestic market, have shut down plants because of tight funds and poor sales in April and May. This has resulted in limited purchases of coal tar cargoes, industry sources said.

The downstream coal tar deep processing producers have had difficulty in getting loans following the monetary tightening policy by the Chinese government, the sources added.

Recent measures by China’s government to cool the property sector have led to lower demand for water-reducing admixture which is made from naphthalene, a key product in coal tar deep processing sectors, the sources said.

Water-reducing admixture is mainly used for producing concrete for buildings.

Tang Shan Koppers Kailuan Carbon Chemical shut down its 300,000 tonne/year coal tar deep processing plant at Tangshan in Hebei province on 10 May for 15 days of maintenance, a company source said.

JFE Zhenxing Shandong Chemical shut down its 500,000 tonne/year coal tar deep processing plant at Weifang in Shandong province on 17 April for 20 days of maintenance, a company source said.

Baoshan Iron & Steel shut down its 300,000 tonne/year coal tar deep processing plant at Meishan in Nanjing province on 19 May for 20 days of maintenance, a company source said.

Yunnan Yunwei Group shut down its 200,000 tonne/year coal tar deep processing plant at Qujing in Yunnan province on 1 May for 20 days of maintenance, a company source said.

The market is not showing any signs of reversing the downtrend in coal tar values and will remain soft in June, market participants said.

($1 = CNY6.48)

Additional reporting by Amanda Zhang

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By: Stephanie Zhang



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