Asia spot capro prices fall for fifth week on weak demand

11 April 2013 07:42  [Source: ICIS news]

BRISBANE (ICIS)--Asia’s caprolactam (capro) spot prices fell by for the fifth week, shedding $210/tonne or 8.4 % from early March because of weak demand amid rising domestic supply in China, industry sources said on Thursday.

On 10 April, prices were assessed at $2,280-2,330/tonne (€1,756-1,794/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia, according to ICIS.

Trades in the key China market, as well as in the Taiwanese market, resumed this week after the Qingming or Tomb-sweeping holiday on 4-6 April.

Buyers in China kept their interest on bonded warehouse or prompt arrival cargoes, and had little appetite for deep-sea cargoes, market sources said.

In Taiwan, buyers had retreated to the sidelines this week after stocking up on deep-sea spot cargoes before the Qingming holidays.

“I have not bought any spot cargoes in the past two weeks,” a Taiwanese end-user said. Chinese major Sinopec has revised its tentative capro price for the month of April by yuan (CNY) 700/tonne to CNY17,800/tonne on 8 April. The price is equivalent to less than $2,250/tonne on a CFR basis.

On 2 April, Sinopec has announced its tentative price at CNY18,500/tonne, down by CNY1,200/tonne from its March offers.

Sinopec’s price cut  has rattled the regional markets this week, as domestic material are now priced lower than imports.

The domestic Chinese market is becoming increasingly competitive because of new capacities coming on stream, and this may have triggered Sinopec’s move to bring down its prices, market players said.

In eastern China, prices were at CNY17,300-18,100/tonne EXWH, down by CNY500/tonne from the previous week, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

Capro’s price fall, which is expected to continue, could drag down the fragile downstream nylon chain, market players said.

($1 = €0.77)

Additionally reporting by Angeline Zhang

By: Junie Lin

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