Asia’s 2-EH buy-sell gap narrows on firmer market sentiment

14 April 2014 12:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The buy-sell gap for 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) cargoes narrowed to $20/tonne, owing to firmer market conditions in the Chinese domestic market which in turn led to higher buying indications.

The prices of 2-EH, subject to import duties, rose by $40/tonne at the low end to $1,420-1,440/tonne CFR (cost & freight) east Asia on 11 April compared with the previous week, ICIS data showed.

Buying indications rose by $20/tonne to $1,420/tonne in the week ended 11 April. Meanwhile, a major producer kept its offers for May-loading cargoes at above $1,440/tonne, stable from the previous month, because it said that buyers were unwilling to accept higher offers.

Market participants said that market conditions in the Chinese domestic market are stabilising and prices on a DEL (delivered) China basis were rising and therefore, they were keen to enter the market to purchase import cargoes.

While buyers of import cargoes were mostly not based in China, they said they still look towards the China market for price direction because it is still the biggest market in the region, even though import cargoes entering the country have been scant since there is sufficient domestic supply.

Domestic prices of 2-EH have been rising in the past month. In east China, they rose over the one-month period by yuan (CNY) 500-550/tonne ($81-89/tonne) to CNY9,650-9,700/tonne, while in north China, they rose by CNY600-650/tonne to CNY9,450-9,500/tonne on 11 April.  

Some market participants said that it is still unclear if this uptrend could continue for a prolonged period of time because supply in China could increase given that several producers in the country have been ramping up their plant production rates in the past month.

($1 = CNY6.21)

By: Trixie Yap

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