SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Sot polymeric methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (PMDI) prices in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and East Mediterranean (East Med) fell by $20-50/tonne to $2,180-2,200/tonne CFR (cost and freight) GCC/East Med, according to ICIS data on Friday.
A number of sellers said despite some material shortage attributed to upcoming plant shutdowns, they were unable to keep their offers at above $2,200/tonne CFR GCC/East Med because of softer prices in Asia.
According to ICIS data, PMDI import prices in China fell for the second consecutive week by $20-40/tonne to $2,080-2,130/tonne CFR China, mainly because buyers are holding on to sufficient stocks.
Domestic prices of drummed PMDI in China also declined compared with prices in the previous reporting week.
The price decline in the domestic market was attributed to stock pressure faced by a number of local traders, which was reported to have more than offset some recovery in demand seen in the downstream sectors on the back of warmer weather.
Consequently, sellers shifted their focus to the Middle East in anticipation of better netbacks. One seller said it had difficulty placing its export cargoes in China and therefore was considering to offer material to the Middle East again.
Buyers meanwhile were said to be pushing for lower offers, with bids also reported at $2,150/tonne CFR GCC. A South Korean seller said customers found its offers at $2,250/tonne CFR GCC for April shipment unworkable.
Instead they had expressed buying ideas at $2,150/tonne CFR GCC. Therefore the seller was planning to revise its offer downwards.
A South Korean producer said it was offering material at $2,200/tonne CFR GCC/East Med for April shipment, adding that it sold parcels at that price to 3-4 customers in the GCC region.
A Middle Eastern trader said prices at $2,150-2,200/tonne CFR GCC were workable, adding that it does not expect prices to increase in the coming weeks.
A trader in the GCC region said it received offers at $2,200-2,250/tonne CFR GCC for April shipment from two different Asia-based producers, but it was bidding for material at $2,180-2,200/tonne CFR GCC.
Offers to a country in the East Med region were quoted at $2,200/tonne CFR East Med for April shipment, but no firm buying ideas were expressed according to the seller offering.