18 June 2012 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Asia's soap noodle spot prices are falling further in line with a sharp decline in the palm feedstock market and prevailing concerns about the global economy.
As of June 8, ICIS assessed prices of 80/20 soap noodles (a blend of 80% palm oil and 20% palm kernel oil or coconut oil) at $1,000-1,035/tonne (€800-829/tonne) FOB (free on board) southeast (SE) Asia. Prices in April were seen at $1,190-1,240/tonne.
Buyers said they are monitoring the feedstock markets and reducing their buying ideas accordingly. "We had no choice but to buy as we have to build our inventories ahead of the warmer season in July-September. Since sellers were unable to give us lower prices, we only bought smaller quantities," a buyer said.
During the last week of May, suppliers started to relent and reduced their soap noodle offers to as low as $1,100/tonne FOB Malaysia and $1,080/tonne FOB Indonesia.
Buying interest remains weak as customers prefer to wait and see how the feedstock markets perform in the near term.
"Now that the prices have softened, they remain at the sidelines despite being slightly short on inventory because they just want stability," an Indonesian trader said.
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