UpdateIndia toluene prices fall to a seven-month low on high stocks

01 March 2013 07:23  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot toluene prices in the Indian domestic market fell to a seven-month low, as a result of persistently high inventories and weakening international market, sources said on Friday.

At the open of trade on 1 March imported cargoes were offered in Kandla and Mumbai at rupees (Rs) 74.50/kg ($1.37/kg) ex-tank, down by Rs0.50-1.00/kg from the previous day, local traders said.

Stocks were accumulating at local importers on increased contracted volumes this year against slow consumption in the Indian domestic market, they said.

About 30,000 tonnes of toluene arrived at Kandla and Mumbai ports in January, up by 30% from last December, they added.

End-users said they were not interested to buy more spot cargoes ahead of the end of the financial year on 31 March and in view of the unclear price direction.

March marks the end of the fiscal year in India, where end-users prefer to keep inventories low and cash-flow high.

Besides abundant supply, the overall softer international market weighed on buying sentiment.

Asia’s toluene prices fell to a four-month low on 28 February at $1,230-1,240/tonne (€935-942/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea for March loading; $1,240-1,250/tonne FOB Korea for April parcels; and $1,240-1,255/tonne FOB Korea for May cargoes, according to ICIS.

Local Indian producers have consequently reduced their list prices with effect from 1 March.

“Prices may slip to Rs74.00/kg ex-tank by the afternoon session,” a Mumbai-based trader said.

A second Mumbai-based trader added:  “There is no market now, buyers are just absent.”

($1 = Rs54.51)

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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