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Updated to Q1 2017
Spot import prices for propylene oxide (PO) in China rose in first-half January and held steady until after the Lunar New Year holiday in early February, before sliding to a 2017 average low of $1,175/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China on 24 February, in tandem with the decline in domestic prices.
China's domestic average prices had increased by a cumulative 9.1%, or Chinese yuan (CNY) 950/tonne in absolute terms, for two consecutive weeks to reach CNY11,350/tonne DEL (delivered) China on 20 January. Prices were on a descent in February after the holiday and bottomed out on 3 March at CNY9,600/tonne DEL China, before having rebounded slightly for the remainder of the month.
Domestic prices had risen in first-half January as both PO as well as downstream polyols producers were relatively low in PO stock inventory. Prices stabilised and remained largely flat over a three-week period from second-half January to early February as market activity dwindled during the holiday. However, prices began to decline after that as PO producers were holding on to high PO stock levels because they continued to run their units at high rates during the holiday while polyols demand had not picked up significantly.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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