23 July 2012 08:09 [Source: ICIS news]
August shipment prices rose by $10.00-20.00/tonne (€8.30-16.60/tonne) to $1,230/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast)
Prices slumped by more than $200/tonne between April and the first half of July because of the weak downstream demand but a rebound in naphtha prices since the end of June has helped to boost the sentiment of buyers, they said.
“Buying interest has improved as importers do not see much price downside,” a regional trader said.
Some sellers are hoping prices will be supported by tighter supply in
Lanzhou Petrochemical has already taken its 30,000 tonne/year plant in
A fourth 40,000 tonne/year unit operated by Dushanzi Petrochemical in Xinjiang province will also shut next month for about two weeks for a catalyst change.
However, buyers are less sanguine about the market outlook.
They said the price upside will be limited by the persistently low consumer demand and the availability of competitively-priced substitutes such as ethyl acetate (etac).
“Demand in southeast Asia will be slow until the end of August because of the Ramadan lull,” a southeast Asian distributor said, referring to the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan when routine business activity slows down.
($1 = €0.83)
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