Lunar New Year fails to boost demand for Asian paraffin wax

29 January 2013 03:39  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for paraffin wax in Asia remains flat despite the upcoming Lunar New Year as regional buyers have sufficient inventories to last them till March, market players said on Tuesday.

The Lunar New Year has little impact on price hikes this year, as many buyers in southeast Asia had purchased larger volumes in December 2012. As a result, they have no immediate requirements to fulfil in the weeks leading up to the festive holiday.

This is in contrast to previous years when prices traditionally spike ahead of the holiday because of increased demand.

“I bought larger volumes in December, as I was afraid that prices will rise and also traditionally it is very difficult to find vessels during the Chinese New Year period,” a Malaysian buyer said.

“Demand is mostly flat now,” a producer in China said. “I have sold most of my cargoes last year and I can build up existing inventory for March as I believe buyers would have depleted their inventory then and will return to replenish cargoes.”

Export prices of fully refined paraffin wax liquid 58/60 on a bulk basis were unchanged at $1,180-1,230/tonne (€873-910/tonne) FOB China on 29 January since the start of this year, according to ICIS data.

Prices of fully refined paraffin wax slab solid 58/60 were stable at $1,275-1,330/tonne FOB China during the same period.

China is the largest producer of paraffin wax in Asia, with its cargoes largely exported to southeast Asia and India.

Paraffin wax is a material traditionally used in candle-making as well as the coating in waterproof, cosmetics and food applications.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Serena Seng

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