11 May 2012 13:16 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Toluene prices in Asia touched a three-month low this week on the back of a downturn in crude futures and weak regional demand, said traders and producers on Friday.
Spot prices in Asia were at $1,160–1,170/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea on Friday, down $40–45/tonne from closing prices on 4 May, according to ICIS pricing.
This is the lowest seen since 3 February 2012 when prices were assessed at $1,165–1,190/tonne FOB Korea.
“Crude was a trigger for the market,” said a southeast Asia-based distributor.
Prices dropped steadily through the week, a complete reversal from the stable trend seen in the past month, said traders.
Underlying concerns about weak demand and ample supply in the region seemed to have surfaced this week, resulting in the price correction, said a Korean trader.
Demand from buyers in China, southeast Asia and India is weak, mainly because of poor downstream conditions which were affected by macroeconomic problems, said traders.
Toluene supply was also high in South Korea, while availability was ample in southeast Asia, they added.
In India, importers were at the sidelines as the Indian rupee has depreciated severely in recent weeks against the US dollar, while demand in the domestic market has slowed, regional and Indian traders said.
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