27 April 2012 06:46 [Source: ICIS news]
Prices have been range-bound in the $1,200-1,240/tonne FOB (free on board)
On Friday, toluene prices slipped $5/tonne to $1,205-1,215/tonne FOB
Toluene supply in the key Korean market is high from May following the restart of production at few units like Yeochun NCC (YNCC) and Honam Petrochemical following turnarounds in March-April period, regional traders said.
“It is a long market...there are still offers for second-half May loading cargoes out there and next week is May,” said a key regional trader.
But the key reason behind the high supply in
Trading on a CFR (cost and freight) China basis has been slow due to poor demand from the downstream solvents sector in
Toluene supply in east China’s shore tanks have been limited at about 45,000-50,000 tonnes in the recent weeks due to lower imports this year, while supply from some local Chinese refiners has also been reduced since March this year due to usage for gasoline blending, said some traders.
“[Looking ahead], some players are betting that the market will pick up pace in second-half May or June due to blending demand,” said the same trader.
Meanwhile, domestic market prices in Chinese yuan have also been persistently lower than US dollar value of the product since February, accelerating the slowdown in demand for imports, they mentioned.
Demand from southeast Asia has also been sluggish in recent weeks, as buyers were still holding ample stocks.
Downstream demand in southeast Asia has also been slow, ensuring there was limited interest for imports from local distributors, said regional players.
Similarly, importers in
Ex-tank values have been rising in the recent weeks in the Indian domestic market due to the depreciation of the Indian rupees versus the US dollar, and this has pushed away end-users who were buying limited quantities, traders added.
With additional reporting from Ariel Chen.
($1 = €0.76)
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