Asia toluene hits six-month low on crude falls, weak demand

01 June 2012 06:13  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Toluene prices in Asia touched a six-month low on Friday amid a steady decline in crude futures and weak demand in China, southeast Asia and India, market sources said.

At midday, toluene prices declined by $10/tonne (€8/tonne) to $1,030-1,040/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea – the lowest seen since 29 November 2011, according to ICIS.

Prices have plummeted by $170-175/tonne, or by 14%, from the start of May.

Trading on a cost and freight (CFR) basis in the region has also slowed down considerably in the past month, market sources said.

Market sentiment has been bearish among regional sellers and buyers.

Regional toluene importers in China and India were also witnessing a slowdown in sales from downstream solvents and gasoline blending sectors amid the global economic slowdown, they added.

“Everyone [sellers] is caught with high-priced stocks, and they are asking for firm bids,” said a Singapore-based trader.

In India, importers were also losing money due to the heavy depreciation of the Indian rupee versus the US dollar, market sources said.

“Demand? Don’t even ask. It’s bad,” said an Indian trader.

“Nobody is buying [as] the rupee depreciation is still going on…sentiment is quite bad, [and] things are so uncertain,” said a second Indian importer and distributor.

($1 = €0.81)


By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359



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